Business Jungle: Eagle

by André W. Diederichs

Key business lessons are contained in my book Besigheidsoerwoud.

The 12th lesson that will be discussed refers to how our circumstances and our vision for the future can condition our minds. Our vision for the future can limit our potential, which is connected to the eagle.
For many years now the eagle has been a symbol of power and wisdom amongst nations and can be found on armour and heraldic emblems. Even in the Bible we find various references to the eagle. It is a being that moves with breathtaking speed and that illustrates hunting skills with precision and perfection.
You’ll find various types of eagles throughout the world and the calling of the fish-eagle is as familiar as the lion’s roar in Africa. Just like the lion is considered king of the jungle, the eagle is seen as king of the airways.
Eagles are found at fresh water lakes and rivers and sometimes at the coast, at river mouths as well as in mountainous areas. The average weight of eagles is between 2.5 kg and 6.7 kg and in North America a species of 9 kg was documented.
Just like an eagle, a skilled entrepreneur is a king in his own right. Allow me to introduce the eagle as an excellent example, an amazing creature and an example to all entrepreneurs. Let’s call this creature ‘him’ instead of ‘it’, since he is closely related to ‘eagle-like’ entrepreneurs.
The eagle is king and master of the airways, fearless! When entrepreneurs start thinking and doing like the eagle, they can also become king of their industry.
It is not luck or fate that determines our future destination, that we do ourselves. Like Henry Ford said: ‘Luck and destiny is the world’s excuse for failure.’
The eagle has a clear vision with which no other bird can compete. He can see further than any other living creature, and his sight is not limiting. An entrepreneur also needs clear vision, a picture in his mind, a future vision of where he is heading, of what he or she needs to do and how to be the best that he or she can. Remember, a vision may never be limiting and must always challenge you!
No living creature can move faster than an eagle in full flight. It is said that eagles can fly where Boeings wish they could. Entrepreneurs must also fly high and fast, fearless of any restrictions and boundaries!
Eagles miss no opportunity when they hunt, but they do not hunt every possible opportunity. No, they qualify the most profitable hunting opportunities. Like good hunters they know that each day is a hunting day, but not every day is a day to shoot. Entrepreneurs must also focus their resources on sustainable, profitable opportunities and not momentary profits.
Eagles do not live according to a clock; they start their day early. They make the most of each day. I have never met a sustainable successful self-made entrepreneur who is lazy. No, entrepreneurs work hard and do not lie in bed wasting time while others are making money and building their enterprises.
Although eagles control more than one place within their nesting area, they will in certain circumstances stay in one place that will be utilised year after year.
Entrepreneurs can also focus on one specific market or opportunity if it is sustainably profitable. Should he, however, do business in an area where the needs in the marketplace constantly change, it might be advisable to diversify his business. That way different income streams can be created simultaneously.
A North American Indian illustrated eagle thoughts with an anecdote that makes one think of the importance of how one’s thoughts can determine one’s future. This story is about an eagle that was kicked out of the nest and landed amongst partridges.
The eagle grew up with the partridges and did as partridges did, because that was all he was taught to do. One day an eagle flew over them and the young eagle asked the partridge next to him: ‘Who is that beautiful bird?’
The partridge replied: ‘It’s an eagle, king of the birds, but forget about him, because you are a partridge and could never be an eagle.’
The moral of the story is, he was born to be an eagle, but conditioned to be a partridge. Don’t let that happen to you! Remember, our thoughts dominate our life. What we think determines who we are. Negative thoughts feed negative actions! Your thoughts become your words and your words become your deeds, habits and destination. Like the good Book warns us: Watch your thoughts!

André Diederichs is the owner of André Diederichs & Associates @ Business Jungle and co-founder of FABASA (Family Business Association of South Africa). He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 082 453 3288.


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