The eagle is a fascinating bird. Known for its power and ability to fly at high altitudes in the sky. It flies where no other bird can fly. As children, we are often told to soar like an eagle. Aim high and FLY. Oh, but if only it were that simple! I recently read a web article on the ways of the eagle and thought I’d highlight the lessons that we can learn from them.
For centuries, these seemingly larger-than-life birds have fascinated and inspired us with their brilliant leadership characteristics. When eagles come to mind, people commonly imagine an enormous hunter soaring above wide-open spaces on outsized wings.
Indeed, eagles are among the world’s largest birds of prey. We venerate them as living symbols of power, freedom, and transcendence. In some religions, these creatures are believed to touch the face of God. Legend holds that Mexico’s Aztec civilizations so revered the birds that they built Tenochtitlan, their capital, at the spot where an eagle perched on a cactus.
For centuries, people have seen eagles as a symbol of beauty, bravery, courage, honor, pride, determination, and grace. This bird is important and symbolic to humanity because of its characteristics. Here are five important characteristics of the eagle that have been closely associated with leadership.
5 steps to soar like an eagle.
1.Eagles have excellent vision and concentration.
If you ever see an eagle sitting high above on a cliff or atop a tree, watch closely and see how attentive the bird is. The body will be still and the head tilted side to side to observe what is happening below, around, and above it. Even if it’s flying, you can observe how keen its eyes are, looking for its prey.
Do the same with your goals. Focus on one thing to accomplish at a time. Give it your effort, time, and energy. Focus and “set out to achieve it”.
2. Eagles Are Fearless Hunters.
An eagle will never surrender to its prey, no matter its strength or size. It will always put up a fight to win its prey or regain its territory. Golden Eagles are such remarkable hunters that they can prey on goats much larger than themselves by throwing them off the side of a cliff. We can learn a lot from their determination.
Life Lesson: Successful leaders are fearless. They face problems head-on. No matter what the size of the problem, a good leader attacks them without regard for themselves. It wouldn’t even dawn on you to be afraid because your instinct is to protect that which you love and cherish. Others take note of your passion and determination and draw strength from it.
3. Eagles fly alone or with their own kind.
An eagle doesn’t mingle with the pigeons. Pigeons scavenge on the ground and grumble and complain all day long. They don’t. They fly and make less noise, waiting for opportunities to strike their next prey or gliding with the current of the storm. Remaining focused on that which inspires you will help guide you through your career. It’s easier to stay motivated when you stay focused on what truly inspires you.
Life lesson: Associate with people who are at your level, or who can help you to grow. Also, not everyone will share your vision or dream. Find people who think like you so that you can both dream and grow together. Don’t waste your time with naysayers and negative people. And don’t share your dreams with just anybody. You’ve got a dream? Protect it!
4. Eagles Are Tenacious Defenders.
Watch an eagle when a storm comes. While other birds fly away from the storm, an eagle spreads its mighty wings and uses the current to soar to greater heights. They take advantage of the very storm that lesser birds fear.
They get excited when storm clouds gather. Why? They welcome the challenge it brings. They know the storm winds will lift them above the clouds. Above the clouds, they can rest their wings and become stronger.
Life lesson: Get excited about the storms in your life. Challenges bring opportunities. We could see the opportunities, wrapped in our challenges if we weren’t so busy, complaining and trying to avoid them. Embrace our challenges and learn from them. That’s how we learn new skills, grow and get stronger. Is this easy to do? Of course not. But we can learn how to.
5. The eagle is a master of change management.
The mother eagle carefully prepares the nest for its eggs. When it is time for the eaglet to learn to fly, the mother begins to remove the comfort layers from the nest, exposing the pricks and sticks. She then throws the eaglets out of the nest. She does this repeatedly until they learn to fly. Out of fear, the eaglet jumps back in the nest, with each attempt, shrieking and bleeding from the pricks in the nest.
The mother doesn’t yield. To others looking on this may seem heartless. But there is a method to the madness. The process is repeated until they eventually start flapping their wings, getting stronger and stronger with each flap. Then — swoosh! Away it goes into the air, flying higher and higher. Rising above its challenges and pain.
Life lesson: We must not become complacent in life; clinging to the old and familiar. We can only grow if we are willing to step out of our comfort zone. The thorns or pain in life are there to tell us that 1. there is nothing more for us where we are, and 2. it is time to move on, grow and spread our wings. Further, the people who genuinely care about us will not encourage us in our slothfulness and fear. While their treatment may seem unkind, it is for our ultimate good. Sometimes tough love is best. They don’t want us to die in our nest!