Army Ants

ant 1

My Dear Luck,

You have been a friend to me. I have got a good job, a good project within the job. I am in an IT services firm. Since these are large teams on projects, the teams are divided into groups and subgroups led by team leaders and group leaders. Dear Luck, I wish some sense prevailed amongst seniors and they weren’t insecure and were more encouraging. Seniors do not realize that demotivating the youngsters can really scar them for life. Also as a team, we all know our designations. But it’s always better if we all work on the same page without throwing our weight around. Dear Luck, how do we handle superiors like these who are not the big boss, but they makes sure to make us feel like a brainless worker?

Yours truly,

Just another subordinate


Dear Just another subordinate,

Have you seen ants marching and doing their work following a leader? No, I am not calling you another ant, so for a moment park your case aside and lets talk about worker ants. All of us have seen how ants follow each other while walking and working. There are scientists who study how colonies of ants work. I didn’t know that ants have a science behind building a bridge. According to research, Even with no one in charge, army ants work collectively to build bridges out of their bodies. The researchers have created a model that quantifies ants’ sensitivity to foot traffic and predicts when a colony will bridge an obstacle and when it will decide, in a sense, that it’s better to go around.

So, while it seem that all are subordinates and are being instructed, research suggests that any ant from the colony is empowered to start constructing a bridge when it comes across an obstacle. And any other ant is also empowered to start dismantling the bridge.

 Read here:

You are like an ant in the colony of your team members. An empowered ant. While you are on a large project, you keep must one eye on the main goal. And the other eye to execute what you have been assigned to. You finish more, you get more. It doesn’t leave a third eye for the insecure superior. Unlike ants, who cannot be assigned a growth model, ask for a growth model from the leaders. What happens when you finish your assignment? Asking for growth pipeline is your right.

More importantly, ask yourself how you are with your group of friends. Sometimes amongst friends, we ignore a few things we dislike, amongst the same group of friends we confront a few subjects and talk it out. You must see your problems with the superior with that lens – what I call a controlled, respectful lens. Which means, you are not confronting or disrespecting her, at the same time, you are not taking things lying down. Ignoring a few issues is also peaceful and good for all.

My dear subordinate, you are not just another one. Stand up for yourself. Use the power you have. You will feel better, you will do better.

Yours truly,



Leave a Reply