CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Management Today
As an avid beekeeper, and having spent years observing the complex social structures that foster highly productive communities, I believe that leaders should look to the fuzzy honey-makers for business recovery tips. 
From playing the long-term game – continuously innovating to harmonising teams and effectively communicating – the leadership learnings that bees can give are not ones to fly away from. When applied in the right way within a business, these lessons could be the key ingredients for driving success, pushing business growth and, ultimately, turning honey into money.
Planning like a colony
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The colony’s activity is focused beyond short-term goals; there is a plan for the future – for bees know the long-term goal is to build up a nectar store for harder months. They keep their eye on the goal, actively take steps to replenish nectar constantly, and never become complacent in this objective. Leaders need to inspire workers to do the same, and take action in fulfilling the business’s long-term strategy.  
Working as a collective
When things don’t go to plan, bees innovate. The hive continually transforms because it collectively knows complacency will mean struggle. Importantly, a single bee can be the trigger for these changes; for example, if they detect a change in weather, or a threat, the rest then amplify that message. Business leaders need to foster this same ethos, that the business understands what’s positive and negative in the context of the corporate vision, and that people are ready to respond.
Just like the bees, complacency means struggle. Instead, it’s about being adaptable and embracing change in order to survive and thrive.    
The importance of each department and individual
Each bee in a hive has a purpose and a job; they each know what it is, act on their purpose, and communicate effectively. Equally, business leaders win when communication is effective and when each employee is empowered by autonomy. 
Equal importance
Whether male or female, no bee is more important than another. While the worker bees may collect nectar, and defend the hive, drones do none of this – yet their roles are equally important in the hive’s survival. Business leaders need to help define roles for each individual and each member of the team needs to come to realise that no one role is more important than another; in fact, it is the collective work of all that drives the business forward. 
Being the queen bee
It’s easy to make the queen bee a metaphor for dominant leadership. Although the vision for the colony is shaped by the queen bee, she also understands the importance of the actions everyone in her team is taking. As a result, there is no disconnect between the direction and the activation. This is important for leaders to remember. 
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