“70% of American workers are disengaged at work as a direct result of poor management and leadership.”

Only 12% of organizations report
having the leaders they need.”

25% of employees say they would fire their boss if they could. 

Only 1% of executives in a Wharton Study said managers should bother showing employees their work makes a difference

50-70% of employees report that they are burned out.

Looking for a new leadership models to apply,
We can study one of the most complex, highly functional leadership systems honeybee hive

Some key leadership concepts that can be applied in the business world

1- Survival of the Hive:

Bees have an absolute obsession with what is
good for the whole organization/team/department/group
over what is good for any one bee. The whole hive’s vision, strategy
and belief help define “due north” so every bee is committed to the greater
purpose, direction and philosophy of surviving.

“We can focus too much on the survival of our department, program or unit and lose our focus on “survival of the whole.”   If the whole doesn’t exist, then the other parts wouldn’t either.

 The bees know what comes first.”

We lose our “Survival of the Hive” mentality when there’s A…

  • Lack of shared goals and objectives
  • Encouragement of silo thinking
    (everyone alone)
  • Leaders with personal “I” agendas
  • Infrequent or poorly-focused meetings
  • Significant communication gaps
  • Internal competitiveness for resources

2- The P-Factors:

The pheromone system in the queen bee automatically
ensures that her leadership exudes (trasuda) certai
characteristics, which are labeled the P-Factors.
The leader bees footprint P-Factor, the ability to use  its calming
P-Factor and unifying P-Factor, as well as the strength to seek out (cercare) resources through its resourcing P-Factor helps prepare it to face any situation.
When you think about it, every   leader has a certain set of P-Factors   they exhibit.
When we look at organizations today and   some of their challenges, these P-Factor   attributes are critical.

  We have the power as leaders to move   throughout our hive leaving behind strong P-Factors that influence the workforce even when we’re not there.”

3- The Colony Culture:

A strong colony culture of collaboration,
cooperation and trust happens uniformly and automatically at every
place within the hive.  There is a belief (credenza) that being “in colony”
will produce something exceptional, far greater than doing it alone.
The beehive honey comb pattern exemplifies this concept of being interdependent and united.
The leader’s role is to build the
colony culture;
it’s done in every meeting,
in the break room,
in the hallway (corridoio).
The leader defines the
what” and the “why
lets  staff define
the “

4-The Front Porch Philosophy and CAMP

 Forage and scout bees use the front porch of the hive to pass off
collected pollen and nectar to worker bees in the hive.
This is a great way of looking at responsibility and accountability (responsabilità)
a behaviour that every leader and follower accepts as they cross the “porch” to their own organization.
Based on the CAMP method of motivation we found in the hive — Competence, Autonomy, Meaningfulness (significavitià), and Progress— bees make a commitment (impegno)
to self-discipline and self-direction.

An important question for us to ask as leaders is:  Do members of my staff know they can take accountability and that I’ll have their backs (sulle loro spalle) when they do?

5-The Bee-to-Bee Waggle Dance and buzz

Bees have achieved a spontaneous and constant form of

Leaders can learn from bees the value of defining their own waggle dance
of communication and spread the waggle dance philosophy
of communication throughout the organization, creating a unique and organic buzz.
The messages passed on by leaders should be simple and easy to understand.
Fast, efficient communication that is crystal clear is not only motivating and constructive but ensures the hive is focused.  The more people (bees) on board the change initiative, the easier it will be to implement.

6- The Perfect Product Honey Stream:

Bees only know to make a perfect product.
Their honey stream can contract and expand
dramatically  to meet the honey
production needs of the hive in the short time between spring and summer.
Honey is the only food that includes all the substances to sustain life (enzymes, vitamins, minerals and water) with zero defects in every batch.
The rhythm of the honey flow is known to every single bee.
Leaders today must be immersed in the flow of work in their businesses, rather than observing from a removed position.
Great leaders put themselves at the center of the organization and move openly among the workforce.
They identify challenges, bottlenecks and constraints and work with staff to address them every day
 It takes 300 bees visiting 2 million flowers, flying over 88,000 km’s (54,680 miles) to make 454 grams (1 pound) of honey. Bees are hard working insects.
If only 12% of your workforce (hive) are engaged in what they do how much productivity are you losing every day through disengaged workers?
How many more flowers could the bees in your hive be visiting every day?

7- Protect the Hive and Leaving the Post:

Too often there are so many internal battles within organizations

that no one is watching for real risks —like robber bees—outside the hive.

Leaders can learn to respond to those risks, like bees,

with the 4Rs Approach:

  • Research,
  • Report,
  • Respond,
  • Recover

making sure not to react
until the research confirms
a problem and devoting
time during recovery to
surface, discuss and evaluate
lessons learned.
To make the 4Rs work,
there must
be a “leaving the post” mentality, like bees exhibit when they leave their task in order to help another bee in trouble.


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