Welcome to the life of the secretary bird and its implication to leadership development. The secretary bird is not perceived as a leader in the scheme of things, but its skill is required for leadership development. Toughness. Birds’ twitter, which is just natural. The secretary bird is not a fan of twittering. It is tough under its feathers. The secretary bird has developed tough feathers to keep its sweat close to its skin. Don’t let your sweat drip. I was enthused to know more about the secretary bird when I got to know that it appears on the coat of arms of South Africa and also the national emblem of Sudan. So what makes it special? They are very endemic in Africa and found mostly in Sub-Saharan region, the secretary bird has tough skins and it develops robust pelt. How do I mean, if I ask you to develop tough skin, quill or pelt? It simply means staying on till the end, staying through till the end and the ability and agility to stay through tough times at all times. Learning through tough times and developing through tough times require a certain skill. It’s been said already that when the going gets tough, it is only the tough that gets going.

“Don’t wade in senseless rants at the workplace. Be tough and focus on performance.”

As the Lion follows one course until success, the secretary bird stays through hard times until success. This is a skill needed at the workplace. We need it. Honestly you cannot go through education for this skill. It’s not endurance. It is rather perseverance. Your journey to the top, requires consistent perseverance. I saw people coming after my life at some point in my career. Some also did me in, big time. Some said a whole lot about me, so to discredit my hard earned reputation just because I think differently. They always want me to think like them but I refused. And this is why I went through a lot. But do you know what I did? I concentrated on my job 101%. I never waded in any stupid rants. I focused on performance. I committed time to think than to talk. I soared higher. I never wasted time calling for cacophonies and non-performing colleagues to gather so I explain myself to them. I had my career plan etched on my mind. I kept my eyes on the ball and I persevered. I didn’t endure. My time has always been expensive to me. I don’t waste it. I don’t give it away either.

Weak minds will fight you every step along the way because they can’t win mentally and they can’t match you. If they can’t beat you, they’ll try to strip you bare. Just be strong mentally, physically and spiritually. You’ll respect perseverance only if you experience it. Perseverance is a strong tool. Some of you have not experienced it yet, which is why you behave the way you do at the workplace. The secretary bird will stay through situations to feel the experience and subsequently grow through it. In the middle of the heat, they breed their kind and they nurture their young ones who are often preyed upon by crows, hornbills, ravens and large owls. Learn to differentiate between your kind and your young ones. It’s deeper than what you may be thinking.

This bird has an eagle-like head with a hooked bill. This semblance prompts some of us to find out whether the similarity really merits the leadership research on the eagle and how their very existence relates to the workplace, in any way. As a matter of fact, the habits of the secretary bird relate to the workplace. Although the secretary bird follows food sources, it is non-migratory. As we build a career, let’s learn to control our movements. Let’s sometimes make a decision to stay in a particular institution for a while. A leader does this. Building a career involves some level of stability, experience and maturity at any one point. Learn to stay within the walls when there are difficulties. One cardinal characteristic of a leader is to learn to solve problems during difficult times.

We can never be leaders if we run from unresolved challenges. Stay and be part of the solution if you want to be part of any success story. The secretary bird is also non-migratory because it hardly anticipates how its new destination may be like, though it can foretell where its current destination will be heading to. It may be worse than it wishes and therefore it asks, why won’t I live here, develop and make here habitable before I move on? The secretary bird has something we all need to learn to do. It ends the life of snakes and it actually preys on them. Let’s develop the habit of exposing the ‘serpents’ at the workplace. The serpent won’t come to work to work: it will lie about people, it will deceive the Line Manager to take wrong decisions and it will clash heads together and it will in the end, rebuff responsibilities. Of course, it is said that the serpent is wise. But we have the other personae of serpents. The secretary bird has a way of fishing through the grass to bring out the serpent. Learn to bring out the snakes. Learn to prey on them. They are pessimistic. They are deceitful and they destroy teams. Note that this bite only addresses the negative character of the snake. Otherwise, the serpent is wise. Not too controversial. I guess.

The secretary bird’s ability to deal with snakes in particular has earned it the name, the devil’s horse. The secretary bird sees no failure. It hardly gives up. There is victory after a good fight. It sure believes. Just be tough and go through it. To have its character, you have to know that things will always change, no matter what. This is very true and therefore it remains non-migratory but it creates a migratory ecosystem to generate opportunities around its territory. Be adaptable. It makes you develop tough skin. The secretary bird can live alone under uncomfortable conditions but will come out a victor. Be tough. Be resolute. Be tenacious. Be fearless. Kill deceit. Be truthful. Remain focus. Develop that tough skin. Be bold. Abhor pampering and remain tough as the secretary bird.

For this is Leadership!

Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah

Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top

blog image

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart