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Leaders are like eagles, they don't find them one at a time.

Laurie Vertuccio
Today's fortune submitted by:
Laurie Vertuccio

Boston, MA, USA

Laurie Vertuccio is a seasoned marketing and communications executive with over 20 years in the medical device industry. Known for driving growth and innovation, Laurie has significantly boosted online engagement and ROI through strategic marketing initiatives. Her work has earned multiple awards, including the US Marketing Innovation Award. Laurie excels in brand management, market analysis, and leading high-performing teams to exceed business objectives.

Leaders Are Like Eagles

Eagles live a solitary life. It's true. Some of the most difficult choices I have ever made as the president of a company, I've had to make alone. The eagle is a revered symbol in America, and I, for one, am glad that Benjamin Franklin was overruled about his idea of elevating the turkey to such status. The eagle is a valiant creature for us to emulate and admire, often seen soaring effortlessly on the currents—a graceful, yet fierce predator, always with an eye on the entire landscape. The bald eagle, in particular, is the one I relate to the most—a beautiful creature that should be a source of pride for all bald-headed leaders everywhere!

However, flying alone, hunting alone, and living alone hardly seem like leading, now does it? You may be one in a million, and look as handsome as an eagle, but without a flock, you're no leader. No, my experience of leadership, serving two terms as president of the American Marketing Association in Boston, was much more like being a duck.

Yes, a duck.

A friend in Kentucky once told me that ducks fly in formation so they can gain lift from the airstream of the front duck. That makes sense. I also heard once that ducks have one wing longer than the other, which is how they decide which side of the formation to choose. Who knows if that stuff about a duck's wing being shorter is true. It's probably not important... that was an ADD moment. Sorry.

Getting back on point now—one important thing I learned about ducks is that the ones following the first duck all quack in formation to keep their timing and to encourage their leader. Did you get that? That's correct. They encourage their leader. In fact, the front duck never quacks. It's those ducks in the back who quack. Yes. They encourage their leader because he has the hardest job of navigating and creating lift for his flock.

When the front duck gets tired, he moves to the back to quack, and another duck takes the lead. That's how it was in the AMA. When Steve Halling was president, I quacked for him. After he finished two terms, he moved to the back and quacked for me. While I was president, I had volunteers who encouraged me to provide a lift for the association. Then, after I grew weary, I quacked in the back for Amy Quigley, who navigated the chapter and will soon give the lead to Rick Littrell, and so on. It's been like that in Boston for 75 years. Each time a new leader takes over, he or she moves to the back and quacks.

Eagles are beautiful, they are prestigiously bald, and an appropriate symbol for America. However, I disagree with today's cookie. While there can only be one leader at a time, and although we may have one short wing, I believe the greatest leaders are ducks, not eagles... and it's because the best duck leaders have a flock of followers who encourage him to give them a lift.

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Submitted by:

Laurie Vertuccio

Unpackaged in: 

Boston, MA, USA

Cookie Ingredients:


What marketing is really saying:

"It's made of only sugar."

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"Kids love it."

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