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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The tenacious fire ant and teamwork

by Pam Roth
If you live in the South, you are familiar with fire ants.  If you don’t, you may know very little about these small creatures that do a lot of damage to a yard and bring a “world of hurt” to the unsuspecting person who steps on their ant mound.

It’s interesting that this insect is called an ant since the fire ant is actually from the same family as a wasp.  Getting the picture, now?  Here’s an interesting fact about fire ants…one female fire ant can produce 2,000 eggs in one day.  Now, that’s a lot of ants.  So as you can imagine, a fire ant mound could be quite large with a half million ants living in one colony.

Another important thing to know about fire ants…they are ferocious.  Let’s say someone is walking along and without noticing their ant mound ends up standing on it for even a few seconds.  Once the nest is messed with, it stirs up the ants and they begin crawling on the person’s foot and up their leg.  As soon as the person realizes that something is on them and they begin to move or should I say, “jump, run, and scream,” the fire ants send out a signal to “attack.”  And attack they do.  They will sting repeatedly until the person has gotten the last ant off of their body.  Do you feel ants crawling on you?  Eek!

Well, this is exactly what happened to my husband when he was out working in the yard one day.  Little did he know that he was standing on a red fire ant mound until it was too late.  The next thing I know, the back door swings open and he’s calling out, “Honey, do you have any meat tenderizer?”   Crossing the room to the door, I said, “What? Meat tenderizer? Why do you need meat tenderizer?”  And then he told me, “I’ve been stung by red fire ants and I just heard someone say the other day, ‘If you ever get stung by fire ants, use meat tenderizer to put out the sting,’ so do you have any in the pantry?”

If we were all more like fire ants – not vicious of course, what action steps would we need to take to accomplish our plan?  Can you imagine how much teamwork goes into that single, malicious attack from fire ants?

  • What would happen if you, like one of those fire ants, understood the purpose of a goal you and your team were attacking; and you took action to move in the same direction as the rest of your team – at work, church, or in your family?
  • What might be some benefits to working as a team?
  • How much could you and your team accomplish, if everyone stayed with the plan until the mission was finished?

Let me encourage you to take action and be as tenacious as a fire ant
and hang on until you have accomplished your goal.  It’s easy to become weary as you work hard to move forward…but don’t give up.  Get focused, find someone to encourage you along the way, and “hang out” with other people who are positive and moving in the same direction.  Go ahead...get fired up and take ACTION!

Feel free to leave a comment below.
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1 comment:

  1. Too often, folks may think they have a common goal, but it often is not the case. Only through pretty rigorous and disciplined discussion can you be sure everyone is on the same page, let alone the same chapter.

    Developing the goals carefully and considerately is a key step.


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