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Lessons from the Eagle: Dynamism through tides.


Not too long ago, I shared a platform with a friend on transformational leadership. He recalled the inspirational story that has often been told about the life cycle of an eagle. The eagle can live quite comfortably for up to 40 years. At this age, natural attrition sets in. However the lifespan of an eagle can be extended to 70 years. But it is not that simple. The eagle must undergo a most painful transformational process.

At the age of 40, the eagle is frail and vulnerable. Its talons are weak and useless. They cannot grab prey. Its beak is frail, bent and useless. The feathers are overgrown and heavy. They make it difficult for the bird to soar. The predatory king of the skies must now choose between dying and living.
To live it must retreat to the mountains for 150 days. Here, it will painfully beat its bent beak against a hard place until the thing drops off. The hopeless talons are likewise hit against the same hard place and shed off. Now the bird must wait patiently for a new beak and talons to grow. These, it will use to pluck off its heavy feathers and allow fresh ones to grow. At last the bird is reborn. It is time for it to soar and rule the skies again.

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