Eagles, the majestic birds of prey, have long been symbols of strength, vision, and resilience. Their behaviour in the wild offers profound insights into leadership and personal growth. Let’s delve into seven crucial leadership lessons we can learn from these magnificent creatures, enriched with anecdotes, parables, and examples from India.

1. Solitude in Decision-Making

Eagles fly alone and at high altitudes.
They don’t mingle with sparrows, ravens, or other small birds.

Meaning: Stay away from narrow-minded people who bring you down. Keep good company. But accept that you are always alone at the top.

In the bustling streets of Mumbai, there was a young entrepreneur named Raj. He often found himself surrounded by naysayers who doubted his ambitious plans. Inspired by the eagle’s solitude, Raj decided to distance himself from negativity and focus on his vision. His startup, which started in a small garage, eventually grew into a successful tech company. Raj’s story exemplifies how solitude can lead to clarity and success.

2. Visionary

Eagles have the ability to focus on something as far as 5 km away. No matter the obstacles, the eagle will not move its focus from the prey until it grabs it.

Meaning: Have a vision and remain focused, no matter the obstacles, and you will succeed.

Consider the story of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, India’s former President and renowned scientist. Despite facing numerous challenges in his early life, his unwavering focus on his dream of becoming a space scientist led him to make significant contributions to India’s space and defence programs. His vision and determination are a testament to the eagle’s focused gaze.

3. Eagles Do Not Eat Dead Things

They feed only on fresh prey.

Meaning: Do not rely on your past success. Keep looking for new frontiers to conquer. Leave your past where it belongs, in the past.

Ratan Tata, the revered Indian industrialist, embodies this principle. Despite the enormous success of Tata Motors, he continued to innovate and expand the company’s horizons, resulting in the acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover. Tata’s relentless pursuit of new opportunities reflects the eagle’s refusal to dwell on past achievements.

4. Mentoring the Next Generation

They remove the feathers and soft grass in the nest so that the young ones get uncomfortable in preparation for flying.

Meaning: One should always be prepared to leave the comfort zone.

In the villages of Rajasthan, there is a tradition where artisans mentor the younger generation in their craft. The elder artisans, much like the eagle parents, challenge their apprentices to step out of their comfort zones and master new techniques. This mentoring ensures that traditional crafts are preserved while also evolving, demonstrating the importance of preparing the next generation for greater challenges.

5. Navigate Storms

When clouds gather, the eagle gets excited and uses the storm’s wind to lift itself higher.

Meaning: Face your challenges head-on, knowing that these will make you emerge stronger and better. Achievers are not afraid to rise to greater heights.

During the 2008 financial crisis, many businesses crumbled under the pressure. However, Infosys, under the leadership of Narayana Murthy, saw the storm as an opportunity. By investing in innovation and employee training, Infosys emerged from the crisis stronger than ever. This resilience mirrors the eagle’s ability to navigate storms, using adversity as a launchpad for success.

6. Precision and Timing

When eagles dive to catch prey, they do so with remarkable precision.

Meaning: Leaders should act decisively at the right moment, ensuring their actions are well-timed and precisely executed.

Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries, was known for his precise decision-making. His timely investments in the petrochemical industry revolutionized the sector in India. Ambani’s strategic vision and impeccable timing underscore the importance of precision in leadership.

7. When the Eagle Grows Old

Eagles go through a moulting process to remove old feathers, allowing for new growth.

Meaning: Similarly, leaders sometimes need to shed outdated practices or habits to foster personal and organizational growth.

The story of the Amul cooperative in Gujarat illustrates this lesson. Facing stagnation, the cooperative underwent significant restructuring, adopting new technologies and practices. This renewal process not only revitalized Amul but also transformed it into one of India’s leading dairy brands, much like an eagle shedding old feathers for new growth.


The eagle’s life offers profound lessons in leadership and personal growth. From the importance of solitude and vision to the need for precision and the willingness to face challenges, these lessons are timeless. By emulating these traits, leaders can soar to new heights, inspiring others along the way. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Like the eagle, let us strive to be visionary, resilient, and ever-ready to embrace change.

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N. B
3 June 2024

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