The eagle is amongst the most widely used bird as a symbol of leadership, victory, triumphs etc., it surely should not come as a surprise especially bearing in mind its unique characteristics, which are an echo of clear and objective leadership virtues.
The eagle has been regarded from ancient times as a symbol of courage and power because of its large size, superb flying skills, and its unreachable nest sites in remote, mountainous country.
A recap into history reveals that it was the emblem of certain roman military legions: France under napoleon, Germany, Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. It also adopted as a symbol of strength and freedom in USA in 1782….in Zambia, it’s a symbol of sovereignty and/or freedom… eagles have been a symbol of war and imperial power since Babylonian times.
It quite evident that these adoptions had a clear emphasis of leadership associated with the eagle. We delve into the lessons worth keeping for Our African Leaders for the well being of our states and communities.
Vision -The eagle’s eyes can see great distances, without losing sight of the prey. They can also directly into the sun without being blinded. A leader must have acute vision, which must be able to guide and lead nation/group towards its goals. The vision must be big and focused; it must put across what is at hand and what must become of our states in a few years time, as this will allow us to focus, without losing sight, on goals that have long term progressive results. The Vision acts as a guide when the nation/group goes off target.
Tenacity and Fearless – as storms approach, most birds head for cover and this is when the eagle spreads its wings and with a great cry mounts upon the powerful updrafts, soaring to altitudes of magnificence (10,000 feet). Eagles use the storm to their favour.
As a Leader, one must be firm and face the challenges instead of running from them and/or threatening punishment to the subordinates. To leaders, storms are tools used for their development. Our leaders must learn to first of all understand the predicament of the many challenges that are yet to be solved in most African states, instead of running from them in ways possible. These challenges must be confronted. Otherwise we shall continue to have vacillating opinions on policy issues from our leaders.
High Flier– as earlier noted the eagle flies higher to altitudes of about 10, 000 feet; way above most birds can fly.
As a leader one must learn to set high, realistic and achievable objectives instead of settling for mediocrity. You must not exhibit contentment of mediocre achievements but also don’t mistake this as reason not to praise effort from subordinates.
strength– when an eagle reaches a level of old age and lack of strength and efficiency due to a grown beak and talons, it goes to the mountain top to shorten its beak and talons to revive its vitality and fly high again.
A leader must inspire energy in his nation/team instead of draining his and that of his subordinates. Our leaders must not make us lose the vitality especially as tax payers as this will result in much inefficiencies and retrogressive efforts. They must efficiently and optimally engage in developmental efforts that will see the dawn of a change in Africa.
Eagles never eat dead meat – you will never see an eagle eating meat that it did not kill. An eagle is not a scavenger. It hunts for and kills its own food. It hunts for the prey while it’s warm and alive.
A Leader must be proactive and take initiatives to go where the action is, instead of waiting upon other people to let you know that you have untarred roads and pathetic infrastructure which is retrogressive for FDI and other economic efforts
Gentle & attentive– the eagle is known for its fierceness, yet no member of the bird family is more gentle and attentive to its young. At just the right time, the mother eagle begins to teach her eaglets how to fly. She gathers an eaglet onto her back, and spreading her wings, flies high. Suddenly she swoops out from under the eaglet and as it falls, it gradually learns what its wings are for until the mother catches it once again on her wings. The process is repeated. If the young is slow to learn or cowardly, she returns him 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.
A leader must learn to value people and their livelihoods. Our leaders must not only pursue selfish interests but must learn to serve the needs of the people that they are meant to serve.
As we desire for much more productive and meaningful leadership, let us be weary of the people that lack the basics, for there lies not much they can contribute to change the course of the new dawn and Hope for Africa.
For those of us that desire to serve in positions of leadership, let us remember to develop and use our natural born and developed leadership skills to serve the best interests of our society and mankind.
May God give us and make us Leaders that will inspire the common goals of meaningful existence.