By: Katie S., Grand Worthy Advisor, Visalia
Helloooooo California Rainbow! It’s me, Troy. I’m Katie’s spontaneous, adventurous, milestone making travel buddy! One day Katie and I were talking and she shared how much Rainbow teaches about leadership. So while Katie was on one of her many Zoom calls, I got to thinking how much the meerkats can teach all of you about leadership. So I decided to write you an article for this thing you call, the Pot of Gold (that is what Katie told me it was anyway) and give you some words of wisdom from all of the meerkats.
From the outside, the Milestone Making Meerkats may look cute and cuddly, and yes we are, but we are one ferocious group. We like to say that we are tiny but mighty. When we are not traveling the state protecting our travel buddies, or what Katie calls them, Grand Officers, we live out in the wild. Yes, folks the wild. Out in the grasslands of Southern Africa where we must fend for ourselves. We live together in large groups of about thirty called mobs. Isn’t that crazy because there are 28 Grand Officers! It is as though it was meant to be! We live together, hunt together, protect each other, and most importantly, stick together. During Katie and I’s conversation, she shared how much Rainbow Girls stick together and how important this thing called sisterhood was. Here are some of the leadership lessons all of the milestone making, funny-dressed meerkats can teach.
Lesson Number 1: Sharing the load. While we live in the wild and our Grand Officer bag, we have to dig for our food, or whatever sweets they have down in there. The only problem is, we are a little small… but mighty of course… and can easily become someone’s snack. When we are digging for our meals, we bury our heads and can’t always watch our surroundings. So to protect ourselves, we take turns standing guard on high rocks or trees. We each take our fair share of the work; so we can all eat and stay safe. If that’s not teamwork, I don’t know what is! So our advice for you is to make sure everyone has a role by working together as a team. Whether your head is in the ground or you are scouting out on the top of a rock, you play a very important role in the success of your team.
Lesson Number 2: Communication. Did you know that meerkats have 30 different distinct calls? Our survival is dependant on these calls out in the wild so the biggest tip we have for you is to keep talking. We call for each other when we are in trouble or if something doesn’t seem right. If we think one of our mob mates is sad or needs help, we give them a shout-out. Katie says that you do that as well. Keep it up! Keep encouraging your fellow Rainbow Sisters! Katie says they are the best.
Lesson Number 3: Stick Together. In the unfortunate event where we get ourselves into a bit of a pickle and escape is not an option, we join together. Our meerkat mob will stir up dust or stand together, so we look much larger than we actually are. Once again… tiny but mighty. So when your team’s deadlines are short, someone is having a difficult time, or when things get a little hectic, stick together. The best teams work together by supporting and encouraging one another, never leaving anyone, or meerkat, behind. A good team stands together.
Lastly, Lesson Number 4: Raise and Develop. Meerkats are masters in preparing their next generation to be successful and help our mob grow. If the mob goes out and about, at least one adult meerkat stays back to watch the young. We love to give our new upcoming leaders a hands-on experience of digging new holes, calling out to each other, and looking for some yummy beetles. Always make sure that your team members are being pushed to grow and develop. Each meerkat, I mean member, has their own set of talents. Make sure everyone gets to practice their strengths and everyone supports each other as you learn new skills. Challenging and believing in each other will be your biggest asset. The strength of a meerkat comes from the strong unity and support of the clan. Never forget that!
Well, I hope you remember these lessons from your wise meerkat friends. Katie says Rainbow provides leadership opportunities and if you follow these lessons I’m sure your mob or assembly will grow stronger and bigger. I can’t wait to meet you and all of the other meerkats. Katie said we get to travel soon but I need to go buy something called a suitcase? Does a suitcase hold beetles?
Troy Mickey Meerkat
Katie’s Grand Milestone Making Meerkat