How a Great Idea Turned Into a Scary Incident—And a Key Leadership Lesson

(Unsplash/Richard Lee)

A trained bald eagle, flying inside the chapel of a Christian college as part of its faith and freedom celebration. Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? And it was—until things didn't go according to plan.

"I saw it fly, and I saw it fall," says Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. The eagle had been trained to fly to its trainer, who was holding a mouse. But in the large crowd, the eagle got excited, and a new assistant trainer released it early, he explains. The eagle flew straight toward him, the other faculty and administration, all seated in the chapel balcony.

"Just as he got to us, he banked and turned toward the east," Greene says. "Now he's flying at the very top of the chapel at a fairly high rate of speed. And apparently the eagle spotted a nice tree to go light upon. As he saw this branch, he continued to pick up speed. And unfortunately, just before he got to the branch, he got to the window in the chapel. ... The eagle hit himself right up against the window and fell to the floor."

Despite the immediate cries and concern of the watching college students, this story—despite the eagle's fall and probable concussion—has at least two happy endings. The eagle lived, and Greene saw an important leadership lesson played out. To hear the rest of the story along with this key leadership lesson, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines here, and be sure to subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like this one.

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