Ants & Mistletoe – A Lesson To Be Learned

Which example will your business follow?

Did you know that the only other species, other than humans, to herd other animals is ants?  In the Amazon, ants herd aphids from tree to tree so that they may graze in order to produce honeydew.  The ants carry the worker aphids gently in their jaws and they put the queen aphids on their heads to transport them and when it rains, the ants relocate the aphids under leaves to ensure they don’t wash away.  As a result, the aphids are protected from the elements and continuously fed ensuring their survival and the ants reap the benefits of their hard work with food produced by the aphids.

The above is an example of a symbiotic relationship with a win-win strategy for mutual gain.

Mistletoe on the other hand is a parasitic plant that attaches itself to a tree to use as a host and siphon the nutrients from the host tree branches or trunk.  The mistletoe is able to feed off the work of the host tree and reap the benefits but gives nothing in return. 

 

This example illustrates where one party in a relationship benefits while the other party suffers as a result.

How do you approach identifying and partnering with your customers and prospective clientele?  How do you interact with all levels and departments within your organization?  Is your company approach supporting mutual long for lasting results or is it syphoning for self-gain?  During the holidays, mistletoe is cut down, briefly celebrated and then discarded and as you’ve heard it before, “the ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah.”

Foster increased lines of communication internally and externally with clientele to ensure appropriate partnerships. Do your due diligence, listen and understand how your communication, goals and direction can align with partners that will prove to be a long lasting mutually beneficial business relationship.  Choosing the right path will increase sales, customer retention, employee retention and repeat business and a side benefit will be the positive branding your company obtains by truly helping your customers and colleagues.