Eagles are regal birds of prey. They have a look and disposition that commands attention and respect for their capabilities and strengths. It would be a shame to have one caged and not allowed to soar, as is part of their natural proclivity. The same can be said for the most talented of your employees. Hopefully, you have had a fair number of leadership experiences at this point. In those experiences you will recognize that subordinate capabilities vary from person to person; sometimes greatly. If you are extremely lucky, you will find yourself among a talented group of people, all of which are capable of great things. In whatever scenario you find yourself engaged; let your eagles fly!
As you grow through your leadership experiences (always realizing there is still so much more to learn), you also develop a certain comfort with your leadership style. In my observations, the leaders who seem to accomplish the most practice good leadership principles and are also people who are imminently comfortable in their own skin. Leadership decisions range everywhere from the small to the immense. There is nothing worse than dealing with someone who is unsure of themselves and allows this insecurity to impact their management style.
Don’t be intimated by your eagles. As I stated in an earlier blog (The Immovable Roster – 07/24/2015), these are people for whom success is part of their DNA. Ultimately, they are bound to bring increased productivity and attention to your team’s activities. The best thing you can do for these folks is facilitate their progress. As a leader, the line employee needs you to provide the all-important conduit to resources, like money, technical talent and or simply access to ensure their ideas get the right presentation and optic from the executive suite. Occasionally, your eagles need assistance with focus as well, but this also works to your advantage as their idea of productivity sometimes includes bringing about significant positive change or doing quite a bit more than expected.
One of the best quotes I’ve ever read is – “There’s no end to what you can accomplish, as long as you don’t care who gets the credit.” It’s a bit ironic that I’ve seen the quote attributed to several different people (Lincoln, Truman and John Wooden to name a few), so the original author’s intent has hit home in more ways than one. If you are doing the job correctly, you can bet that your eagles will succeed and provide the kind of positive light, which allows the whole team to shine. Do not keep them caged; they will always get you across the finish line.
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