THE LEADER AS AN EAGLE
By Mark & Sharon Ighile
It is possible to be in a crowd and still stand out. It is not out of place to belong to a group and still be outstanding. There can be a striking voice even in the market place. An individual can become the show piece of an enlarged family. It is not a phenomenon out of the blues to generate a ringing tone among a cacophony of voices. The eagle is one of such special creatures that are unique in many respects in the destiny-cluster of possibilities. In the May edition of the 2014 strategic leadership summit, we shall be drawing revelation and inspiration from the leadership instructions of this divine construct.
There are many characteristics and feature that make the eagle worthy of attention and concentration. And we will consider a few of them within the context of leadership and management lifestyle. They include high flight, strength, vision, strategy and disciplined training.
Birds naturally fly, but the eagle’s flight is a strategic one. It has been established by research and experience that it is possible for eagles to fly beyond the altitude of 10.000 feet above sea level. By such advantageous exploit, the eagle lives in a class and world of its own. By the same token, every true leader is expected to be unstoppable in the journey of destiny. There is no height that a leader cannot attain if he sees God as his benchmark.
The in-built sight capacity of the eagle is awesome. With its highly powered eyes, it can see through the thick and thin. The eagle is never taken unawares because it sees danger from a far distance and knows how to avert it. Instructively, a core aspect of leadership is rooted \on vision. It entails the process of generating a clear picture of a positive future. Those who lead do so because they know the way forward. Every true leader is a visionary. Every great leader is a dreamer. Nothing sustains a leadership lifestyle like vision. Where there is vision the led are not only happy, but they are also free from danger (Prov. 29: 18).
An eagle does not act on impulse, neither does it respond to fear by flying aimlessly. It is calculated and courageous. When a storm comes and other birds fly away, the eagle spreads its wings to soar to greater heights. Rather than bows to situational trepidation, the eagle takes advantage of the same natural phenomenon that others dread. No wonder therefore, that God had to repeatedly command the new generational leader, Joshua, to be bold and courageous. For a leader to be a dependable example he must overcome the fear that his followers are still struggling with. The saying is true that if the lion’s share must be given to the leader, it is contingent on him to also possess the lion’s heart.
The eagle is a strong bird that continually renews itself for timeless relevance. As energetic as an eagle may be, it finds time to restructure and repackage itself. When the eagle gets to the age of 30, the natural abilities begin to ebb. So, it retreats to a mountaintop and over a five month period goes through a process of knocking off knocks off its own beak by banging it against a rock, plucking out its talons and feathers and the positions itself e for another 40 years. Every great leader should learn a lesson from this pattern- of constant scriptural refreshing and patterning of life after that of Jesus!
The eagle is a trainer and careful developer. This quality comes to the fore in the upbringing of the eaglets. When the eaglet is ripe to be trained to fly, the mother eagle spreads the wings and flies very high with the eaglet. But somewhere in the sky, the eaglet is left alone, and just before it crashes on the ground, the mother eagle comes to the rescue. This process is repeated until the desired maturity is realized. The leader is required to do no less. He is not expected to boss and rule the followers as autocratic statutes. But rather, it is required of him to grow with the people he is leading. He teaches and guides the people with every sense of responsibility and integrity. The empowerment and the direction that led enjoy from the leader become very handy in times of challenge and victory.
As we prepare for this summit, which is the eight edition in our sixth year of ministry, we are trusting God to use the forum to do the following: 1. Give illumination to the secrets of top flyers in human endeavour. 2. Exposure to the strategies of overall flight in life and ministry. 3. Draw inspiration from the eagle’s lifestyle which is critical to transformational leadership. 4. Supernatural empowerment for strategic flight.
Beloved, our heritage is surely at the topmost height. It will therefore amount to an abuse of redemption to remain on the ground.
You are welcome to a new day!