Test Before Trust
I once had a boss who used to tell me this, "Liz, it is good to trust but it is best to doubt". I never quite understood him them and I actually thought he was being mean, but many years down the line I now fully understand what he meant by that. I have to admit that this has not been one of my strengths, but as I keep learning from my mistakes, I now understand why it is important to test before trusting.
So, what can we learn about testing before trusting from the female eagle? Here are a few facts that might astonish you if you never knew about them before today....
- The female eagle during courtship always takes a male eagle into the air after picking up a twig from the ground and dropping it from a certain height for the male to chase it. Once the male catches hold of it and brings back, the female flies into a higher altitude and drops it in the same way. This is repeated until the female gets an assurance that the male has mastered the art of seriously picking up the twigs in real love and affection.
- Once they get hooked up in trust, the father and the mother eagle mate for life. They also work together as parents. On this note, believe this or not. Eagles are known for their aggression. They are absolutely ferocious aren’t they? Anyone who doesn’t have a total knowledge of this great bird will say "yes". What is more astonishing with this bird is their ability to nurture their young ones. Research has shown that no member of the bird family is more gentle and attentive to its young ones than the eagles.
- This is how it happens. When the mother eagle sees that time has come for it to teach the eaglets to fly, she gathers an eaglet onto her back, and spreading her wings, flies high. Suddenly she swoops out from under the eaglet and allows it to fall. As it falls, it gradually learns what its wings are for until the mother catches it once again. The process is repeated. If the young is slow to learn or cowardly, she returns it to the nest, and begins to tear it apart, until there is nothing left for the eaglet to cling to. Then she nudges him off the cliff.
The moral of the story is, true leaders are not bosses. They grow with their people. They strive to make individuals in the organization or society grow to their full ability. They teach and guide just like the mother eagle does. They never stop giving challenges but never give-up empowering and directing. They don't just trust, they test before the trust.
And so should you.