by Joop LiefaardI have a passion for the bald eagle or Haliaeetus Leucocephalus
according to his scientific name. I have this passion as long as
I can remember. But it is not a logical passion. I am Dutch and
a passion for a bird of prey that is common in The Netherlands
would be more obvious. But life is full of inexplicable surprises
and left me with this passion for the bald eagle, the national
symbol of the United States of America. I have seen the
eagles only once in my life in their natural habitat and that
was during a holiday in British Columbia in Canada.
When I read about bald eagles and about the way they live, I
always start thinking about what a businessman can learn from
them in order to become successful and that is what this article
Bald eagles are birds that can often be found on very high
altitudes. There they soar and with their very sharp eyesight
they have a clear view on the world below them and especially
on the prey they want to catch; fish, that is what they like
most.They can see the milky white spot in the water from a
distance of many miles. In high places they build their nests.
On a rock, on the top of a tree but always on a spot where they
have a good view on the world that surrounds them. And from
their castle they see what is happening around them and that
The businessman should also have a clear view on what is
happening in the market. From very far he should recognize his
potential customers and "attack" them at the right moment. At
the same time he should be aware of the dangers that surround
him, anticipate, absorb the environment and be prepared to act
Bald eagles are confined to their territories. With the seasons
some migrate but you find bald eagles only in a specific habitat
namely forests, mountains and near sea and rivers. You won't
find them in the desert. In their habitat they know what to do,
where they can find prey and which dangers surround them. By
instinct and by learning they have knowledge about the way they
have to conduct their lives and about how they have to behave
in this habitat. They will never go beyond the limitations of this
frame work. If they do, they die.
This holds a lesson for the businessman. He should know
everything about his business and when I say everything, I mean
everything. He should know all about the products he sells from
beginning to end, every detail should be an open book to him.
He can never be surprised with questions on which he has no
answers. He should know about marketing techniques, the
position and plans of competitors etc., etc. And if he doesn't
possess this knowledge by nature, he has to learn it.
3. Enough is enough
When Bald Eagles catch prey, they will catch only one fish at a
time. It is not possible for them to catch more. But they know
precisely how to catch this one fish. Their flying skills, their
strong talons and their eyesight are extremely well developed
and fit for the job. Almost every attempt to catch a prey is
This phenomenom also holds a wise lesson for the businessman.
He has to restrict himself to a number of products he can handle
and products that matches his skills and abilities. To stay in
the animal world: if you are a cow don't try to jump fences like
a horse. People will only laugh at you. It is better to sell one
product very well than ten without a satisfying result.
Bald eagles mate for life and they are absolutely loyal to each
other. From high altitudes the two birds tumble down in a
dangerous free fall. Mocking the laws of gravity they unite.
Only just above the tree tops they separate and fly wing by wing
to the nest. This spectacular show requires great courage. A
businessman also needs courage to be successful. He has to make
decisions about difficult and uncertain subjects. And he also
needs to know when to stop his free fall. Having courage to make
difficult decisions is not synonymous for being reckless. A
decision that leads to disaster is not a decision, but a wild
You see....the businessman can learn a great deal from this
majestic bird that embodies not only beauty, strength and
freedom but that possesses also the essential conditions and
abilities to survive.
The beginning businessman as well, who is maybe starting his
business in great uncertainty about the future, can learn from
the bald eagle:
Flying high starts with spreading your wings!