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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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    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 weeks 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 16 months 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

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      Kelvin 19 months 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 20 months ago from Papua New Guinea

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

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 23 months ago from london

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

    • profile image

      VIJAYA YASASREE 23 months ago

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

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      ad 23 months ago

      Wow! Great lessons. So inspiring. Tnx.

    • profile image

      Paul philemon 2 years ago

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

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      salome 2 years ago

      awesome!!

    • profile image

      Nancy Ziyambi, Zimbabwe 2 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.

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      Janaka 2 years ago

      Excellent writing and thinking

      Janaka

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 2 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks all for reading and commenting. Bless.

      Ian

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      Neil Viljoen 2 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

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      SIMON 2 years ago

      wooooow i like it

    • profile image

      barcinal_rodirick 2 years ago

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

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      Wilson Nemukongwe 2 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 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

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      flexis 3 years ago

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

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 years ago from Papua New Guinea

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

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      You welcome.desmond..cheers

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      desmond m 3 years ago

      not only interesting bt so so motivational hey thanx

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 years ago from Papua New Guinea

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

      Ian

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      ISAAC.from jos p/state.nigeria 3 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

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      bijoy 3 years ago

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

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 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

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      Jimmy Muwuluke 3 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.

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      Pius JK Clement 3 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.

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      Yvonne 3 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

      3 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 3 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.

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      george kungu 3 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks Juliana. Bless

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      Juliana Ishaya 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Juliana Ishaya 3 years ago

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

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      Clements 3 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

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      Clements 3 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

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      kknk 3 years ago

      sup

      dfgagh g

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 3 years ago from Papua New Guinea

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

      Ian

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      songezo Mhlekwa 4 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Elias Wranga

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

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      Elias Wranga 4 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks all for the wonderful comments.

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      GrapemanPrime 4 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.

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      Mopelola Odueyungbo 4 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 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

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      korlu m.from liberia 4 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 ..

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      mcprince 4 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks Isaac

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      Isaac Namabiri 4 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

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

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 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"

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      Melelo 4 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 4 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 image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thank Kunu

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      kunu 4 years ago

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

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

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

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

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

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      Mwakalebela 4 years ago

      Marvelous skills ever! a vivid practice on leadership

    • profile image

      stephen musee 4 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 4 years ago

      a great post, learned many new fascinating about eagle.

      truly inspiring

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      prynxocran@gmail.com 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Geoffrey omiti 4 years ago

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

      Very inspiring characteristics.

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      Lilian 4 years ago

      Like your article but then went on to read link on facts about eagles. Seems to have contradicting info. Like eagles don't eat dead meat but the other article says it eats carrion. The life span too. Nw am confused

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      David Bolaji 4 years ago

      A highly educative write up. I was blessed and inspired reading it. Well done and God bless you

    • profile image

      Kals 4 years ago

      Good one

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      LEON 4 years ago

      VERY INSPIRING I WILL TRANSFORM TO EAGLELIKE

    • profile image

      Aitesamuddin Ahmed 4 years ago

      Egals possess true leadership characters if we follow these characters that can help us to become true leader. It is depends on our attitude.

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      mary afi 4 years ago

      thank you so much for lefting my spirit up this morning. may GOD BLESS YOU.

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      Joel Richards 4 years ago

      That's a wondering piece of information, I feel great reading through, thank a million

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      Ramesh Deepchandani 4 years ago

      Very wonderful and inspiring and giving courage to fly high.

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      Precious Glory Chiduziem,from Nigeria. 4 years ago

      I'm very grateful, thank you very much.

      Precious Glory Chiduziem,from Nigeria

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Kim, cheworei. Glad you found the hub inspiring. Thanks

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      cheworei. Nairobi-Kenya 4 years ago

      Wow! great lessons here. thank you so much for this inspiring article.

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      kim 4 years ago

      I enjoyed this soooo much!!!! Thank you..

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks Elina,

      Appcriate the comments from you.

      Ian

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      Elina 4 years ago

      this is very interesting and useful in a persons life. now i understand why the bible used an eagle as example (isaiah 40: 31). these are the characteristics that our lord wants us to have. we are not failures but the great leaders of tommorow.

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      GABRIEL 4 years ago

      I also learnt that if a female eagle will have her first sex, she will test for commitment. She will take the make eagle to very high height of any kind with a food or stick in her beak, she releases the stuff in her mouth downwards and if the male eagle cannot catch it be for it touches the ground, NO SEX.

      Could this article be true.

      I need more researchers to work on it.

      Gabriel

      ereadura@gmail.com. 2347031963179

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Geoffrey. I am glad you found the hub useful. Kind regards

      Ian

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      GEOFFREY FROM NAIROBI 4 years ago

      THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE GREAT INSPIRATION IN LIFE.IT'S a BIG MOTIVATION FOR SOMEONE TO AIM FOR THE GOALS IN LIFE.

      THANKS ONCE MORE FOR THE GREAT CONTENT.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks all for reading and commenting about this great bird and the lesson we must learn from them as leaders.

      Ian

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Hi Inyang. Appreciate the inspiring comment. Thanks very much and the next hub im working on now is title "5 Traits of a Highly Effective Organization Displayed by Ants"

      I get my writing insoiration from simple things in life, most of which many take for granted.

      Im more a nature boy than a big City Gun..lolz.

      Wlecome to HubPages and stay blessed. Im looking forward to reading your hubs.

      Regards

      Ian

      @erik. thanks.

    • profile image

      eric 4 years ago

      aswome

    • Emmanuel Inyang profile image

      Emmanuel Inyang 4 years ago

      Hi Ian,

      It takes creative writings to trigger unusual transformation in our generation. Your inspirational write up on this subject of the eagle is highly educative, and at the same time greatly challengeable. I think, in order for us as leaders not to be a liability, we imperatively have to undertake a rigorous responsibility just like that of eagles. We must also know that eagles are not made out of "theory" but "practise". It takes an eagle to be made while an eaglect to be birthed. As leaders we need to emulate this practical teaching. Thanks so much brother Ian for taking time to simplify on this topic.

      Emmanuel Inyang.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks all. Appreciate your comments. Stay Eagle. Fly eagle. World is gives a beautiful view if we fly high as an eagle and see from above.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks all. Appreciate your comments. Stay Eagle. Fly eagle. World is gives a beautiful view if we fly high as an eagle and see from above.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Thanks all. Appreciate your comments. Stay Eagle. Fly eagle. World is gives a beautiful view if we fly high as an eagle and see from above.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Manish,

      Appreciate your comment. Will visit your blog.

      Ian

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Manish,

      Appreciate your comment. Will visit your blog.

      Ian

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      Manish Vaswani 4 years ago

      Nice article.

      Perfectly corelates the Eagle characteristics with leadership.

      Keep it up ! :)

      Manish

      http://manish-vaswani.blogspot.in/

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Janee Doe. Thanks

      Sam k. Can be done.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Janee Doe. Thanks

      Sam k. Can be done.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Janee Doe. Thanks

      Sam k. Can be done.

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      sam-k 4 years ago

      Thanks for the info on the eagle, especially the VITALITY but I wish they can be substantiated.

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      Janee Doe 4 years ago

      Uh , I Guess this is pretty cool .

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      sylvia 4 years ago

      Fascinating... I am sure like an Eagle... I'll always act like one

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      Esty 4 years ago

      Awesome research very helpful, thanks for the research, all the meaning insights and comments. More grace and remain favoured of the Lord!

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      DMVmimay 4 years ago

      very nice hub, eagle was always exemplify as high moral or intellectual value...very inspiring to mimic.

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      Babatunde 4 years ago

      Thanks for these eye opening points. I am reminded of Isaiah 40:31."Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall soar on wings like eagles.....". To soar like this marvelous creature of God, WAIT on Him.

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image
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      Ian D Hetri 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Getrude,

      Thanks much for your comment.

      Keep flying high.