Four Leadership Lessons from MLK

As we commemorate the life and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. We look to four leadership lessons that we can emmulate and follow.

1. Service is the path to greatness

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve – or make your subject and verb agree to serve or know about Plato and Aristotle to serve…you only need a heart full of grace – a soul generated by LOVE.” Robert Greenleaf in “The Servant as Leader” urged us to ask ourselves, “How can I best serve, today?”

2. Practice Compassion and Forgiveness

Dr. Jim Joseph, a renowned Black scholar and leader notes, “One of the key contributions African Americans make to the world is reconciliation and forgiveness.”

We witnessed this after the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shootings. King’s words resonate, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”

This is even more critical today to heal the political divides that separate us. Who do we need to forgive? How can we express more compassion and understanding for those we do not agree with?

3. Realize the power of your ancestors’ dreams

mlk2MLK once said that we are the dream deferred. Our parents and grandparents put their dreams on hold so that we might have better lives. It is because of my mother’s dream that I am successful today. We honor those who came before us because in this is – power – determination – fortitude – and resiliency. If our parents and grandparents could do what they did to overcome – then we can do anything – Si se puede!

4. Make a life-long commitment

The growing gap between the rich and the poor, the disparities in education, the struggle of working immigrants, and the violence against Black men remind us that we must heed Kings admonition:”We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of NOW.”

As King urged: “Let us rise up today with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to create a better nation.”

What steps can you take to renew your commitment today?

Elvis’s tribute to the Civil Rights Leader

Two months after King’s assassination, a bereft Elvis Presley walked into the Western Recording studios and with incredible passion he laid down his tribute to the Civil Rights Leader:

“If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand and hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true.”


Let us work together to make THE DREAM come true.

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