I’m like a bee that that moves from flower to flower, taking a little pollen here and a little pollen there, and I build up all the honey in the honeycomb.

-Walt Disney

I often feel like a bee buzzing from one state to another to visit leaders and to help them meet their personal and professional goals. I’m also charged with keeping our business unit operating at its highest rate. It’s impossible to know about everything going on when you have hundreds of employees spread out across a large distance. Leaders at all levels won’t know every single thing that happens beneath them, but all have a responsibility to meet the goals given to them and perform well. Let’s look at some ways that the bee can teach us to be better leaders.

Bees pollinate and give life

Without bees, 70 of the top 100 crops that feed 90% of the world would not exist. Bees provide life to others through their small touches with plants. You as a leader should also be providing life and pollinating your team. Your touches should add value to the team and both inspire and equip them to be better. In my current role, this is my main function. I can’t stay just in one location, just as the bee can’t stay on one flower. I have to make sure that my touches and time give the most value as possible when I have those interactions. You may not have to travel hours to see different parts of your team, but that doesn’t make your time and touches any less valuable. Make the most of the moments you have with others.

Bees are team players

Bees are always team players. Their goal is to bring back resources to support the hive that they are a part of. A rogue or self-centered bee would not last long. They are inherently dependent on each other for survival. The student needs learning materials and a teacher willing to pass on knowledge.  A part-time employee will need help filling in on a shift, guidance as they learn the job and someone to make sure they get paid correctly and timely. Even an entrepreneur can’t rely solely on themselves. They need help in areas such as finances, marketing, and physical resources to make their business work. Work for the common good of your teammates. if the choice is you or the team, always choose the team. This may require you to give up things that you love or enjoy but remember the larger cause.

Bees are never lost

Bees always know right where they are in relation to their hive. They may seem like they are lost by their flight pattern, but they know exactly how to get home. In the same way, never lose the sense of where you are and where you are going. It’s easy to lose our way and become discouraged, disengaged and lost in our profession and life. Find others to keep you grounded, never forget what got you to where you are today and enjoy the moments you have now. There is always something to be thankful for.

The Disney organization had gotten too large for one-man operation by the time a little girl asked Walt what exactly he did. His answer is the quote at the start, and it’s a pretty accurate image. He could no longer draw the characters that he loved, but he could go around and invest in others so the group to see its dreams come true.  He gave life to new ideas in his organization, fostered teamwork wherever he went and never lost his sense of direction.

Be like the bee and make others blossom.

Make a better tomorrow.