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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute — a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Leadership lessons from ants

Have you ever watched an ant carry what appears to be a gargantuan load? Science indicates that ants can actually carry ten to fifteen times their body weight. And they do — repeatedly — in order to provide for themselves and their nestmates. Which got me thinking ... if ants aren't daunted by the sheer magnitude of what they sometimes have to carry, is there a lesson there for us as leaders?

In the workplace, we are often faced with what seem to be insurmountable obstacles in our leadership roles — looming deadlines, challenging employees, missed opportunities, apparently unattainable targets — which could, if we let them, cause us to give up and admit defeat. But perhaps we could learn from ants who take on seemingly impossible tasks and make them possible.

Ants recognize the value of teamwork. If you watch carefully, you will see that when the other ants see a single ant carrying a heavy load, they step in and shoulder some of the weight. They know that they can achieve much more by working with each other.

I see two specific lessons here for those in leadership roles. One, as leaders, it is up to us to pay attention to whether any of our employees are carrying a heavier than usual workload. And two, when that occurs, we need to step in and initially shoulder some of the weight, thus becoming positive role models for the behaviour we expect from the rest of the team.

So at first glance, these are my two leadership lessons from ants. But what do you have to add to the list? Please share your thoughts directly on the blog at

In The Globe & Mail: Five ways to make "flexible work" actually work

In Merge's latest column for The Globe and Mail, she outlines five must-dos to help you make flexible working a reasonable alternative in your organization. Five ways to make "flexible work" actually work is a pdf version archived on our site. The original article published behind The Globe's paywall, so if you're a subscriber, here is a link directly to their site:

Merge's "How To Motivate Employees" video tips series continues

All year, Merge has been focusing on practical ideas on how to inspire and energize your people in her series of ongoing video tips. In the last month, she covered Strategies #27, #28 and #29.

Another series of "public" leadership training programs in Alberta

For the fourth year, Merge is proud to be partnering with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA Alberta) to deliver high-quality cost-effective leadership skills training in a series of "public" programs. For a list of upcoming programs in Edmonton and Calgary, check this post in our blog.

Turning Managers into Leaders

That you can get step-by-step, how-to specifics on just about every common workplace leadership dilemma from Merge?

Merge has a leadership skills series of audio programs created to help you deal with just about any responsibility or situation you face on any given day on the job. Each one of these 22 audio programs contains practical, concrete and realistic advice, available when you need it, with step-by-step details and relevant examples so that you can make the necessary changes right away. Visit our Toolkit section in our Leadership Store to learn more.

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