As a committed life student on leadership, I like to ask myself every time I see a natural phenomenon what lessons can I draw on leadership. When the eagle spreads its wings, it is a sight to behold. From tip to tip the eagle’s wings measure about 1.8 – 2.3 Meters on average. This majestic bird was built to soar high. It was built for the sky. The eagle flies into the storm, as other birds run for shelter, the eagle literally flies into the storm and uses that to be lifted up high. Amazing. The eagle has many lessons that we can learn on leadership. These can be on Leading with Love, Maintaining the right attitude, focus and always flying at the right altitude.
But what lessons can we learn from this bird on leadership?
Eagles Make Love at high altitude
We do not know how they do that, but this is true. Eagles actually make love in the air. From a leadership perspective what does this mean? Eagles Love at a high level (High Altitude), as a leader, your love and passion first for the people you lead must be on genuine and true, secondly the love for the mission and vision must also be at true. People you lead are able to read genuine love from the leader as well as a love for the mission. This act of love also means that while making love in the air – they actually do a love dance; the eagle knows for sure that it is not reproducing with a chicken 🙂 . Second, Leaders have to maintain the right relationships both privately and in their teams – dance with other eagles, fly with other eagles at high altitude, make love in the air.
Maintain Focus and Relish Challenges
In flight, the eagle maintains a sharp vision. Looking out for both the prey and predators a like. The focus is up to about 5KM on a prey, once the eagle narrows its focus, it sets out for the challenge. As leaders, we must retain focus, cleverly avoiding distractions on our path to achieving excellence and influence. Like an eagle, we must relish challenges. No matter the obstacle, the eagle will not move its focus from prey until he grabs it.
On challenges, the eagle is the only bird that loves the storm, it uses the storm to push itself to greater heights. Once the eagle finds the storm wings, it stops to flap its wings and uses the pressure of the raging storm to soar whilst resting its wings – Operational efficiency, the rest of the birds hide in the bush 🙂 . In leadership, we need to constantly see opportunities in challenges. Use our troubles to energize our teams to rise to greater heights. Leaders relish challenges and use them profitably.
Eagles prepare themselves for the next generation, discard the worthless and renew themselves
The male eagle collects twigs, thorns and soft grass. However, the most amazing thing is that he plucks his own feathers for the female to lay eggs! This is a very important role of a leader, as a leader, we must prepare our followers into leaders, we must make sacrifices for the people we influence, we need to prepare our followers to take up the mantle of leadership. True leadership is about bringing up leaders. We ought to prepare the next generation. While at it, a leader must be able to discard the worthless and renew ourselves always.
One of the most remarkable thing about eagles is that at the age of about 40, it undergoes a painful renewal that takes about 150 days, failure to undergo this means death – read this online. As leaders, transformation is not an option, we must constantly evolve, change and transform to adapt to the dynamics of life. In order to survive, we must start a change process. Only by freeing ourselves from old dogmas do we can take advantage of the present and future opportunities.
Bringing it all together
The Eagle presents Leaders with a great tapestry of the intricacies of leadership, like an eagle, leaders need to have both the right attitude and altitude. Leaders must ensure that they surround themselves with other leaders – Eagles fly with Eagles not chicken. Finally, leaders must evolve, constantly scouting the horizon for big picture dynamics ,failure to which leadership will die. “Leadership transformation is a matter of life and death.“