why was martin luther king jr a great leader


All people are not born to lead, but they can still have a positive affect within their organization. Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2016). Leaders come from all types of backgrounds, which brings different aspects of leading into their organizations. One can be a leader within a group, organization, or team. Usually there is one person within a group that is willing to take charge and lead. There are good leaders and there are bad leaders, but the key is to be the best leader you can be for your followers. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a phenomenal leader and some of the traits that he possessed were intelligence, self-confidence, and determination. As a leader, being intelligent is very important within an organization because a leader is expected to know a lot. Continual learning both formally and informally can help to develop and maintain your intellectual skills. Formally you can take different courses available within your organization to further improve your knowledge. In the military, there are tons of formal courses available to gain knowledge. In regards to informal ways to continually learn, you can read books. Educate yourself so that you can in turn educate those that you lead. Being intelligent does not mean that you have to be arrogant because your followers will not respect you for that. Be humble and be smart! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was a successful leader of the African American civil rights movement in the United States. He was intelligent in the fact that he was able to lead African Americans in a nonviolent way to the advancement of civil rights. He was powerful and he used his power to influence the believers. Dr. King was educated receiving his Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Boston University. Having strong verbal ability, perceptual ability, and reasoning appears to make one a better leader (Northouse, 2016). His verbal ability was extremely strong. The БI Have a DreamБ speech was delivered during the march on Washington where he called for an end to racism. Over 40 years later the powerful speech lives on. Dr. King inspired many with his speech. Possessing self-confidence is also a major trait for a leader to possess. Self-confidence is the ability to be certain about oneБs competencies and skills (Northouse, 2016).


If you are confident in your actions then you will gain the trust of your followers. No one wants to be guided by someone that is unsure and incompetent. As a leader, they must be confident in themselves to make the right decisions at the right time. Dr. KingБs confidence and poise drew followers. He was confident in his abilities to lead the African American community to one day be treated equal. Had Dr. King lacked self-confidence he would not have been able to change the lives of the African American people. Dr. King did not let any negatives against him stop him from achieving greatness. Lastly, the trait of a good leader is having determination. Determination is the desire to get the job done (Northouse, 2016). Dr. King was determined to fulfill his dream of one day being treated as equal. His drive and passion inspired others to follow him. Even when times were rough and he was put into prison, he still did not waiver. He continued his nonviolent journey for the African American people. Dr. King put himself and dangerous situations for his people and he gave it all. The perseverance that Dr. King had was why his movement was so powerful. In the end, he paid the ultimate sacrifice as he fought for freedom. He was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. Despite the turmoil that he faced with, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. His life and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him, and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington DC (Assefa, 2016). Had Dr. King not been determined; he would not have received all the accolades. Even though everyone is not born to lead, they can still make a difference within their organization. One can possess different leadership traits that will help them to be effective leaders within their organization. Dr. King was the one person within his group of African Americans to take charge. He excelled in every aspect to lead his people to being treated as equal. The leadership traits that he possessed allowed him to fulfill his dream. Dr. King showed that he was the best leader that he could be. Even though he is no longer alive, his legacy lives on. Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed. ). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Assefa, H. (2016). Martin Luther King Jr. : Restoring streets with his name CNN. Retrieved from http://www. cnn. com/2016/01/18/us/martin-luther-king-jr-streets/index. html.
БA genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.


Бб -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. epitomized the qualities of leadership and self-sacrifice. His actions made him one of the great leaders of the 20th century, Time Magazine\’s \”Man Of The Year\” in 1963 and a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1964. Monday we will celebrate his life and work. As many enjoy this three-day weekend, I encourage you to take time to think about the legacy that Dr. King left behind. The leadership lessons that he gave the world are as important today as they were then. Watch his БI Have A Dream,Б speech (18 min. ) or go see the movie БSelma. Б YouБll see why King developed a followership that numbered in the millions. It takes a special person and an incredible leader to develop that kind of following. There are many lessons we can learn from Dr. King about being a better person and a better leader. Here are some of the things he has taught me: 1. Have total commitment. There are times as a leader when you will have to stand up and do whatБs right. Dr. King was a man who had a dream bigger than the times in which he lived. He stayed committed to his vision even when he knew it was unpopular and his life was in danger. He was arrested upward of 25 times and assaulted at least four reported times. Are you bringing that level of intensity and dedication to your work? 2. Embrace fear. King was scared before every speech and worried that his points wouldnБt be well received or that he would be met with violent protests. But he faced his fears head on. KingБs willingness to embrace his fear is a great lesson for leaders. For example, we may fear competition, failure, or new technology in todayБs business environment, but instead of shying away it is important to face these obstacles and not to be afraid of change. 3. Disrupt the status quo. Dr. King knew that his dream was more important than the status quo. His actions shook up the popular culture of the time. Sometimes doing things different is necessary for evolution and innovation. He used the words Бcreative tensionБ to explain that fairness and change come only when you shake things up. Dr. King never accepted that just because things were a certain way, it made them right.

How can you shake up the status quo in your corporate culture or business values? 4. Paint a vivid picture. Leaders should never grow weary of articulating their dream or vision. They have to help their followers see what they see. Make sure the team knows why they do what they do. Talk about the real reason for the business and whom the business is helping. Do you have a vision for your company? Do you talk about how your actions, campaigns and products back up that vision? 5. Involve everyone. King inspired community involvement because people wanted to be part of something bigger than themselves. In business, people really perform when they feel like they are part of something special. King used to say, БPeople derive inspiration from involvement. Б So the lesson here is to get your people involved in the dream and the planning of attaining it. Build Бbuy inБ by encouraging involvement, collaboration and new ideas. 6. Always help others. WeБve all heard the term Бservant leadership. Б Well, King had it down to a science. He dedicated his life to helping others, and people would follow him anywhere. Every day we have the opportunity to help others. We can dedicate our time to making sure the people who work for us feel supported and have what they need to be successful. ItБs incredibly rewarding to help others achieve their dreams. Just ask yourself each day, БWhat am I doing for others? Б 7. Never give up on your dreams. King reminds us that even when crawling, the important thing is to keep moving forward. Look, crawling isnБt necessarily a dignified position to be in, but if it allows you to continue to move forward and reach your goal, thatБs what will be remembered. While his life was cut tragically short, he died in pursuit of his dream and in spite of everything he faced, he never gave up on it. I encourage you to take the time to study his life and learn a little more about a man who was a true leader. Any time you can find leaders like King, itБs worth taking the time to discover what made them so successful. Apply a few of KingБs strategies to you own personal or professional life and see the difference it makes. Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from northern Utah. He can be reached at bradlarsen@dailymasterpieces. com.

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