Gleanings from the Proverbs – Lessons from Animals – The Eagle
“When there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29, 18).
With a superior mind, the leader can come up with a vision or a dream, and that vision should be communicated to the people. And how true, creating a vision for the people, the leader’s dreams can help create a better world for the people.
One leadership lesson drawn from the eagle is that of vision. It is said that the eagle soars or flies high when it is hunting. From the way of the eagle, the leader can learn the need to have a high vantage point, giving vision to the people. The leader should have a vision and see the big picture. And vision, having it is a necessity, serves as a guide or even as a beacon and a guiding light to the people.
From the eagles, one can also learn about resilient or tough leadership. Leaders need to be tough and resort to positive thinking, changing the “I can’t” to “I can!” and the “I’ll try to do” to “I’ll do it!”
When eagles are 30 years old, they go through a process of renewal. Finding a hidden place high in the mountains, the old eagle with curved beak begins to claw at its face, and tear out the old feathers that by now become less airborne. As a result, it bleeds badly.
But this is vital for the eagle in order to renew its strength. If the eagle did not do this, it would not be able to live to its normal 40 years (Ozirney, 2009). It is thus vital for the eagle to undergo the change process to gain its strength and this builds the eagle’s resilience. By the same token, mankind simply needs to accept the change process, learn and grow. It’s part of life and living.
The world has become global and we get lessons from all over the world. It is apt at this point to quote a Chinese phrase: “The eagle is soaring high, spreading its wings.” When a Chinese businessperson receives a calligraphic painting of an eagle from his or her business associates, it depicts that the well wishers wish the business person well, and in fact, they are sending him or her good intentions and wishes of business expansion. More specifically, in Chinese culture, the eagle symbolizes an individual’s, hence can be the leader’s strength, ambition and emulation since (s)he can fly as high as (s)he desires. In many Chinese brush paintings, the eagle can be depicted as catching a fish against the backdrop of a rising sun and mighty waves. The turbulence of the vast ocean is never an obstacle for the strong and determined eagle. The depiction of an eagle can normally be taken as being optimistic. The rising sun, which foresees every possibility in life, is a symbol of opportunities and bright future, greatness and magnificence an individual can achieve with all efforts and aspiration (s)he devotes.
Hence, the eagle can be a good source of inspiration and encouragement.