Beehive of Activity
"We found such similarities, the great microcosm of a hive and the colony nature - could we see that in business and leadership?" Harrington said. The idea for the book came from Mackin's work as both an international business consultant and a beekeeper. Mackin started her own hive about 4 years ago, after reading news articles about colony collapse, she said.
"I live on three acres of land and garden...the bees could fly around and be safe," she said.
One of her first observations about the bees is their intense focus on their work.
"In late summer, you can put your nose right up to the screen and they won't even pay attention to you," she said.
She noticed bees work well together and wanted to apply this interdependence to the business world.
"Bees...live together and are hard workers," Harrington said. "A key principle and belief is the many is greater than the one. The Queen Bee is still hustling just like everyone else."
Part of what the team noticed is the bees are trying to survive, but put the needs of the hive above their own needs. This is how something leaders can learn from, Harrington said.
"A great leader knows they need a great team," he said. "It depends on the person not focusing on themselves, but the survival of the product, the company and the work force."
There is movement in the hive and rotation of roles, something Mackin said is crucial to good leadership.
"The queen bee moves all over the hive and leaves a pheromone [ a scent the other bees can smell], letting the bees know she's around," she said. "Leaders should also circulate among their workforce."
What sets this book apart from other, more dry or textbook like leadership manuals is the story of Zync, the queen bee, is woven through out, Harrington said. Through her story, the reader learns seven leadership skills.
"At the end of each chapter, we have reflections for business leadership," he said. "What did we learn? What lessons did Zync learn? How can this be applied to the business world?"
Harrington said a strength of the book is its length, coming in at 108 pages.
"We looked at the demographic and people barely have enough time to do their work, let alone read," he said. "We call it an airplane book. You can read it in one ride."
While the book focuses on the business world, it is still a piece that can be read to children or used as a basis for a leadership retreat, he said. Reservations for the seminar are required. To make a reservation stop in the store or call 802-362-2200 or 800-437-3700.
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