SIX LEADERSHIP TRAITS OF THE EAGLE by Rear Admiral Harry Ngonad (Rtd.)
There are six positive Leadership traits common with every eagle that every leader out there must imbibe to excel in life and career.
Eagles Have Fine Vision
Eagles have a keen vision. Their eyes are designed for long distant focus and clarity. Take a close look at all the great leaders of our known world who have come and gone. One characteristic that is common with every one of them is ‘vision’.
Vision is a successful leadership characteristic. Lee Kwan Yew, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, etc were all men of great vision. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America guided his country through their most devastating experience, the civil war. He had the vision to save the union and free the slaves.
You must have a vision that guides and leads your team towards the organization’s goals. The vision must be big and focused too. A big focused vision will produce big results.
Eagles are Fearless
The scripture says, “…and wherever the body is, there the eagles will gather”. An eagle will never surrender to the size or strength of its prey. It will always give the fight to win its prey or regain its territory.
No matter what the size of the person, organization, or weapon they may be holding, you would attack them without thought or regard for yourself. It wouldn’t even dawn on you to be afraid because your instinct is to protect that which you love and cherish or simply entrusted into your hand by the virtue of your office.
Successful leaders are fearless. They face problems head-on.
Eagles are Tenacious
Watch an eagle when a storm comes. When other birds fly away from the storm with fear, an eagle spreads its mighty wings and uses the current to soar to greater heights.
The eagle takes advantage of the very storm that lesser birds fear and head for the corner. Challenges in the life of a leader are many. These are the storms we must face as leaders to rise to greater heights. Like an eagle, a leader can only rise to greater heights if he takes up the challenges head-on without running away from them.
Eagles are High Flyers
Eagles can fly up to an altitude of 10,000ft, but they are able to swiftly land on the ground. At 10,000 feet, you will never find another bird. If you find another bird, it has to be an eagle, according to Dr. Myles Munroe.
An eagle does not mingle around with the pigeons. It is Dr. Myles Munroe who said that “Pigeons scavenge on the ground and grumble and complain all day long. Eagles do not. They fly and make less noise waiting for opportunities to strike their next prey or glide with the current of the storm”.
Great leaders are problem solvers. They don’t complain as the pigeons do. They love to take challenges as the eagle does when the storm comes.
Eagle Possess Vitality
Eagles are visionary and full of life. At the age of 30, the physical body condition of the eagle deteriorates fast making it difficult for them to survive. The eagle never gives up living. Instead, the eagle retreats to a mountain top and over a five-month period go through a metamorphosis.
It knocks off its own beak by banging it against a rock, plucks out its talons, and then feathers. Each stage produces a regrowth of the removed body parts, allowing the eagle to live for another 30 to 40 years.
There are times in your life as a leader that you must pulse, look back, and take stock of your life, the good, the bad experiences you have been through as a leader.
Are you keeping in trend with the current knowledge trend? Do you need to improve in certain areas in your life as a leader? Great leaders are the ones that always do ‘check and balance’ of their personal and professional lives and make an effort to learn things every day.
Eagles Nurture Their Younger Ones
Eagles are known for their aggression. They are absolutely ferocious. What is astonishing about these birds is their ability to nurture their younger ones.
When the mother eagle sees that time has come for it to teach the eaglets to fly, she gathers all her eaglets onto her back, and spreading her wings, flies high. Suddenly, she swoops out from under the eaglet and allows it to fall. As it falls, it gradually learns what its wings are for until the mother catches it once again.
The process is repeated. If the young is slow to learn or cowardly, she returns it to the nest and begins to tear it apart, until there is nothing left for the eaglet to cling to. Then she nudges him off the cliff.
The leaders are not bosses. They grow with their people. They strive to make individuals in the organization or society grow to their full ability. They never stop giving challenges but never give-up empowering and directing.
(Rear Admiral Harry Ngonadi is a retired Naval Officer, Autor, Philanthropist, Global icon, and CEO of the renowned Eagle Sweep Nigeria Limited, Abuja).