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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute – a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Leadership lessons from a bald eagle

I am continually amazed by the insightful lessons leaders can learn from the animal kingdom. Recently, I had the opportunity to have a close-up interaction with an American bald eagle at a bird rescue sanctuary, and not surprisingly, there were leadership lessons to be had here as well. Here are two interesting parallels between bald eagles and exceptional leaders.

Eagles tend to spend most of their time in elevated locations. When they are hunting, they soar high in the sky. When they are resting, they look for the loftiest spot they can find in trees, craggy rocks, or even rooftops. They can stay at higher altitudes because they have excellent vision. But that doesn't stop them from swooping down when they need to, usually to catch prey but occasionally for other reasons. There is a great lesson for leaders here. Effective leaders must be able to operate at both levels too. Leadership vision comes from being able to soar above the day-to-day of a business. But when needed, the best leaders are just as easily able to swoop down and deal with the details.

Bald eagles normally prey on waterfowl and small mammals like squirrels, prairie dogs, raccoons and rabbits. But they are opportunistic predators which means that when prey is scarce (as it sometimes is in winter), they will steal from other animals, or even scavenge on carrion. Now I'm not promoting theft as a positive leadership characteristic, but my point is that the eagles do what they need to in order to survive. Good leaders also do whatever is necessary to thrive, particularly in times of trouble. If that means stealing market share from competitors, so be it. And scavenging carrion may sound disgusting, but just like the bald eagle, exceptional leaders will readily take on unpleasant tasks if it's necessary for success.

Are there any other parallels between bald eagles and leaders? These are two leadership lessons that immediately came to my mind, but I'd love to hear what you think. Please add your comments online at the blog at:

P.S. If you want to see a fantastic close-up photo of an American Bald Eagle that I took, click here.

Merge is now a regular Opinions columnist for Canadian Accountant

Merge is thrilled to be associated with such a prestigious publication. And don't let the word "accountant" throw you off; this online magazine contains heaps of valuable information, even if you're not an accountant! Her inaugural column is titled 5 Reasons Why Accountants Make Great Leaders. Now if you're an accountant, you've just got to read this, no excuses! And if you're not, you should as well, if for no other reason than to argue the point ☺ !

Leading virtual teams — our latest video series continues!

In last month's Mega Minute, we sent you links to the first four tips on long-distance leadership — how to more effectively lead employees who are physically remote or "virtual". Here are the next four.

November 15, 2017 is going to be a sell-out, don't miss it!

Last month we told you that Merge was going to be one of the seven exciting experts who will be speaking at the Customer Service Leadership Summit in Calgary on November 15. In one power-packed day you and your leadership team will learn smart practices and fresh ideas to attract new customers, and turn current customers into raving fans. This event will sell out, so register early to avoid disappointment!

Turning Managers into Leaders

That if your employees are overloaded and overwhelmed, Merge can help you help them?

Sure, everyone wants greater productivity and improved responsiveness, but escalating workloads invariably come with dwindling time and resources. Merge offers a fast-paced content-rich online learning program — Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit — giving you specific tools you need to help your overextended employees meet their goals AND reduce their stress.

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