5 Positive Leadership Traits People Can Learn From Eagles

Updated on July 8, 2017

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, honour, 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.

"If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him"

— John F. Kenney

1. Eagles Have Powerful Vision

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. Eagles have extremely powerful vision. Their eyes are specially designed for long-distance focus with clarity. They can even spot another eagle soaring from 50 miles away.

Does this leadership characteristic ring a bell for you? I am sure it does. Look at great leaders who have come and gone in the world, and you'll see they share the characteristic of eagle-like vision, with the ability to both see reality clearly as it is in the present as well as make accurate predictions about the future.

"All successful people, men and women, are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose."

— Brian Tracy

Take Abraham Lincoln for example. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, guided his country through the most devastating experience in its national history, the Civil War. He had a vision to save the Union and free the slaves. He is considered by many historians to have been the greatest American president.

You must have a vision that guides and leads your team towards the organization's or society's goals. The vision must be big as well as focused. A big, focused vision will produce big results.

2. Eagles Are Fearless

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.

You can watch a video on YouTube of the Golden Eagle's remarkable hunting strategy in which it preys on goats much larger than itself by throwing them off the side of a cliff.

No matter what the size of the person or what 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.

Successful leaders are fearless. They face problems head on.

3. Eagles Are Tenacious

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. The eagle takes advantage of the very storm that lesser birds fear.

The 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 faces the challenges head on without running away from them.

4. Eagles Are High Flyers

Eagles can fly up to an altitude of 10,000 feet, but they are also able to swiftly land on the ground.

An eagle doesn't mingle with the pigeons. Pigeons scavenge on the ground and grumble and complain all day long. Eagles don't. They fly and make less noise, waiting for opportunities to strike their next prey or gliding with the current of the storm.

Great leaders are problem solvers. They don't complain like pigeons do. They love to take challenges like an eagle when the storm comes.

5. Eagles Nurture Their Young

Even though eagles are known for their aggression, what is more astonishing is their ability to nurture their young ones. Research has shown that no member of the bird family is more gentle and attentive to its young than eagles.

This is how it happens: when the mother eagle sees that the time has come for it to teach the eaglets to fly, she gathers an eaglet onto her back, and spreading her wings, she 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 takes it back to the nest, and begins to tear the nest apart until there is nothing left for the eaglet to cling to. Then she nudges him off the cliff.

True 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 teach and guide just like the mother eagle does. They never stop giving challenges but also never give up empowering and directing.

Book Recommendation

I highly recommend The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephan R. Covey. It's a great book if you not only read it but implement its practices as well.

Name the Leadership Characteristic You Think You Possess

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Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Joshua A.Egbodo 

        7 days ago

        God implanted the human genius into some certain creation,before He later breath into a man to lives and live like them as sample.

      • profile image

        Rogelio Lineses 

        12 days ago

        Always trust in the Lord in all you does and you will not left behind, God put us on the head not the tail, God will make us Conqueror in every situition in Jesus Nsme. Amen,

      • profile image

        Necy 

        2 weeks ago

        This is inspiring.....I understand why God compares or reference his people like an eagle.

      • profile image

        Medha 

        2 weeks ago

        Eagle is complete picture of a Leader and Leadership qualities.

      • profile image

        Nasaa Philip 

        4 weeks ago

        Fearless, Courageous, Good vision, Flying High.

      • profile image

        Very inspiring 

        6 weeks ago

        Leaders grow with their followers indeed

      • profile image

        Gaelon 

        6 weeks ago

        This really helps me a lot with home work

      • profile image

        Bornwell 

        7 weeks ago

        powerful

      • profile image

        Gav harris 

        2 months ago

        Helped a lot with my paper and knowing of Eagles,thank you

      • profile image

        Mukund Panchal 

        2 months ago

        True leadership and fearlessness.

      • profile image

        Jk 

        3 months ago

        Ok This Is Good

      • profile image

        Ejeh Patricia ojoma 

        3 months ago

        Splendid

      • profile image

        ...hi 

        4 months ago

        ...hi

      • profile image

        Bob 

        4 months ago

        Pizza

      • profile image

        lex 

        4 months ago

        waa

      • profile image

        lyzz soky 

        4 months ago

        Inspiring content from this context.

      • profile image

        Buyi Tshabalala 

        4 months ago

        Wow! Food for thought..!

      • profile image

        Kenedy mutisya 

        4 months ago

        True leaderds, should traits,features that of an eagles in their life.

      • profile image

        ZWAVHUDI MARY GOODNESS 

        5 months ago

        WOW, POWERFUL!!!!!!

      • profile image

        NKOOM 

        5 months ago

        Nice information. It will really help African leaders if they read this book.

      • profile image

        David 

        5 months ago

        Despite that iam an eagle by character..i keep choosing an eagle now and then

      • profile image

        Alisa Mohan 

        6 months ago

        Great

      • profile image

        Wycliffe Ole Maina 

        6 months ago

        Great to view,it is fantastic and inspiring one

        thank you,

      • profile image

        SIGQIBO 

        7 months ago

        This is wonderful because i like the Eagle that's why i ended up here, the way it does the things, vigilant, wise, very powerful & i like it when it fights the big snakes it also changes the battle in various ways, that's my role model King.

      • profile image

        Cephas 

        7 months ago

        this is Very Cool and wonderful to know

      • profile image

        Queen 

        7 months ago

        Nice

      • profile image

        Saka Koledowo Olatayo 

        7 months ago

        this is very wonderful...

      • profile image

        valsac 

        7 months ago

        awesome

      • profile image

        nancy kuya 

        8 months ago

        very inspiring and satisfying.

      • profile image

        peter 

        11 months ago

        Satisfied by your good explanation of eagles

      • profile image

        Vitor Soveral 

        12 months ago

        Very inspiring!

        Thank you.

      • profile image

        Christine B 

        13 months ago

        Very inspiring and motivating, thank you!!

      • profile image

        Ishmael 

        14 months ago

        Truly inspiring

      • profile image

        Braen-Kenya. 

        15 months ago

        This is deeply rooted, awesome and easily grasped iam actually siting you in my upcoming book. Viva

      • profile image

        Eric aviti msemwa/ erickmsemwa95@gmail.com 

        15 months ago

        i have inspired with ur explanation about Eagle

      • profile image

        albert 

        15 months ago

        inspiring

      • profile image

        victor 

        16 months ago

        inspiring words

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        18 months ago from Papua New Guinea

        I have been extremely business on my new Creative Agency and havent been in touch. But heck I am here and I intend to write more here.

        But please do me a favor and hit this link and check my Facebook account out and lets connect there.

        Here we go https://www.facebook.com/linkpadmedia/

        See you on the other side.

        Say something like,

        "Hi Ian, I am John Doe from Hubpages"

        Cheers

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        2 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        HI Kevin,

        Glad you found it useful. I intend to turn this hub into an e-book with indept information so keep an eye on my hubs. Do connect with me on Facebook

      • profile image

        Kelvin 

        3 years ago

        Really very awesome article on leadership, and I believe using the eagle as an example is a true definition of a leaders quality. I really enjoyed this upskilling and will use this qualities to transform in our daily life.

        Cheers to you

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        3 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Appreciate all your enpowering comments. Please do keep sharing the wisdom to the world over.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        3 years ago from london

        Very visionary, uplifting and well thought out Hub. Continue ...continue ...

      • profile image

        VIJAYA YASASREE 

        3 years ago

        Eagles are very GREAT creatures, everyone should inculcate the qualities of an eagle to be in a HIGH position.

      • profile image

        ad 

        3 years ago

        Wow! Great lessons. So inspiring. Tnx.

      • profile image

        Paul philemon 

        3 years ago

        Among other animals,only the eagle is a soaring bird.so by following this procedure,i can also become a soaring leader.

      • profile image

        salome 

        3 years ago

        awesome!!

      • profile image

        Nancy Ziyambi, Zimbabwe 

        3 years ago

        I understand that when it's time to die, the eagle positions itself so that it faces the sun and dies with the light in its eyes. If this is true then this leader is positive/optimistic to the very end

        Truly inspiring.

      • profile image

        Janaka 

        3 years ago

        Excellent writing and thinking

        Janaka

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        3 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks all for reading and commenting. Bless.

        Ian

      • profile image

        Neil Viljoen 

        3 years ago

        I believed this all until somebody referred me to a websitewww.hoax-slayer.com/rebirth-of-the-eagle-hoax.shtml. Pse answer me

        Thanks

      • profile image

        SIMON 

        3 years ago

        wooooow i like it

      • profile image

        barcinal_rodirick 

        4 years ago

        also eagle are good to eat..i've tasted some..

      • profile image

        Wilson Nemukongwe 

        4 years ago

        What a wonderful lesson. Surely i am going to apply all the seven leadership skills i learnt from this wonderful bird of prey in my ddaily leadership experience. Very much informing.

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        I am writing this reply in Hawaii University, as a Leadership Fellow. We learning so much and I am fired up to continue growing my business asn helping out in the community as a leader.

        ALOHA.

        Cheers

      • profile image

        flexis 

        4 years ago

        great info its really touching ive learnt smething i didn't know.

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Updated with new quotes new pictures of the amazing bird, the eagle.

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        You welcome.desmond..cheers

      • profile image

        desmond m 

        4 years ago

        not only interesting bt so so motivational hey thanx

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thank you bijoy and ISAAC for visiting and commenting on my hub. cheers

        Ian

      • profile image

        ISAAC.from jos p/state.nigeria 

        4 years ago

        its not only wishing that'i can fly'but to possess all eagles quality.after all,GOD in HIS word says we should mount up wings as eagle.thanks

      • profile image

        bijoy 

        4 years ago

        Eagle inspire me 2 keept positive myself.................

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks Jimmy,

        I am glad you found the article useful. Eagles inspire me and that's why i keep studying their positive habits.

        Cheers

      • profile image

        Jimmy Muwuluke 

        5 years ago

        Wonderful animal. Good to emulate in life. That is why for my school the motto is Swerve, Spiral and Soar. This is explained to the pupils in the context of the eagle life. It encourages the children. The school anthem has similar message.

      • profile image

        Pius JK Clement 

        5 years ago

        Very impressed when read about the Eagle's behavior and its techniques of hunting down other inferior birds.It teaches us something to learn from.Well described Mr.Ian.

      • profile image

        Yvonne 

        5 years ago

        Wow, thank you Ian for this I have heard people talk about the eagle and got interested to find more. Thank you so much.

        Yvonne, Botswana

      • profile image

        5 years ago

        Wow, thank you Ian for this I have heard people talk about the eagle and got interested to find more. Thank you so much.

      • profile image

        Robert Chambo 

        5 years ago

        THANKS. I HAVE BROADENED MY UNDERSTANDING ON EAGLES. IT SHALL SHARPEN MY LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND THE TRUTHS I GATHERED HERE SHALL BE COMMUNICATED TO MY FELLOW PASTORS. THANKS.

      • profile image

        george kungu 

        5 years ago

        Owerful about eagles. God's design to us likens the eagle way. Its time we change and get renewed.

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks Juliana. Bless

      • profile image

        Juliana Ishaya 

        5 years ago

        What an amazing bird with plenty lessons to teach i have learnt from its xtics im just impress

      • profile image

        Juliana Ishaya 

        5 years ago

        What an amazing bird with plenty lessons to teach i have learnt from its xtics im just impress

      • profile image

        Clements 

        5 years ago

        Thanks Lan, this is inspiring. Even God appreciate the qualities in the Eagle. He (God) reminded the Isrealites how He bore them on EAGLE'S wing all through then wilderness. He also promised that those who wait upon Him will renew their strength and mount up with wings like EAGLE. This bird is outstanding, please continue the good job

      • profile image

        Clements 

        5 years ago

        Thanks Lan, this is inspiring. Even God appreciate the qualities in the Eagle. He (God) reminded the Isrealites how He bore them on EAGLE'S wing all through then wilderness. He also promised that those who wait upon Him will renew their strength and mount up with wings like EAGLE. This bird is outstanding, please continue the good job

      • profile image

        kknk 

        5 years ago

        sup

        dfgagh g

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks Songezo for dropping by. I m glad you found something useful in the hub.

        Ian

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks Songezo for dropping by. I m glad you found something useful in the hub.

        Ian

      • profile image

        songezo Mhlekwa 

        5 years ago

        very inspiring indeed. I had no idea how powerful Eagles are, but I always had a fear of the bird.

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Elias Wranga

        I appreciate your time here and adding more to what good we already have. Cheers

      • profile image

        Elias Wranga 

        5 years ago

        Thanks so much Ian for the Hub pages. Thanks so much for all others that have commented. Indeed, I have learnt a great deal of knowledge about eagles.

        One thing that I want to share with others is, study the simple law of nature and change your life and the surroundings. God created the natural and physical world and placed everything first, then created man. Man can learn form them. The physical/natural reveals the spiritual. That's is why I would say: my God how great are Your works (Psalms 92: 5 )

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks all for the wonderful comments.

      • profile image

        GrapemanPrime 

        5 years ago

        Eagles are also carnivorous scavengers. That's their mode of operation. Being fast, agile and tenacious doesn't make a good leader, just good predator. If you want a leader (or to be a leader) who is a carnivorous scavenger and likes to rip people off for own profit instead of building relations and cooperating with everyone for the common good, then you have a very twisted idea of what leadership is about.

      • profile image

        Mopelola Odueyungbo 

        5 years ago

        Very inspiring and fact finding write up. It will help me in delivering a paper titled the eagle in you.

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Korlu m. from Liberia. Thanks for dropping by and posting a wonderful coment. Thanks much and please be blessed.

        Ian

      • profile image

        korlu m.from liberia 

        5 years ago

        Korlu m. from Liberia

        Reading about the characteristics of an eagle, make me to know more and more how awesome and powerful God is.I bless God for u,may he open every doors for u,open your spiritual eyes not only the physical to see great and mighty things as well. Keep up the great work ..

      • profile image

        mcprince 

        5 years ago

        wow !!! that's awesome of the Eagle . how i wished i were one man with all eagle's traits ! I love this bird . mwaaaahh

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks Isaac

      • profile image

        Isaac Namabiri 

        5 years ago

        WAOOH what can I say again. This is awesome as my company logo is the emblem of an Eagle. Great stuff. Thank you

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Recommended several books you should read along with this hub. Check em out. Cheers

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Melelo

        They indeed are fascinating creatures. I am glad you are inspired by this hub. Ill do more research and write a book basing on this hub..Get ready for more from the eagle in my book "The Eagle Leadership"

      • profile image

        Melelo 

        5 years ago

        I have always admired these birds, always thought highly of them, however after reading such an insightful passage about Eagles I know the kind of leader I aspire to be! Wow totally amazed, thank you and God bless you :-)

      • profile image

        Melelo 

        5 years ago

        I have always admired these birds, always thought highly of them, however after reading such an insightful passage about Eagles I know the kind of leader I aspire to be! Wow totally amazed, thank you and God bless you :-)

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thank Kunu

      • profile image

        kunu 

        5 years ago

        hey thanks for directing us to a higher dedication toward our vision & destiny

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        The title has been polished up and the content updated. Check it out......

      • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile imageAUTHOR

        Ian D Hetri 

        5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

        Thanks all for the comments....Happy reading and learning

      • profile image

        Mwakalebela 

        5 years ago

        Marvelous skills ever! a vivid practice on leadership

      • profile image

        stephen musee 

        5 years ago

        i will nature my youth in church.i will not fear problems instead i will find a solution .a very good aerticle

      • profile image

        akash 

        5 years ago

        a great post, learned many new fascinating about eagle.

        truly inspiring

      • profile image

        prynxocran@gmail.com 

        5 years ago

        that is very fascinating....i luv it..

      • profile image

        Geoffrey omiti 

        6 years ago

        I dedicate eagle characteristics to all who claim to be leaders.

        Very inspiring characteristics.

      working

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