3 Lessons Every Leader Can Learn from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leadership like Martin Luther King Jr.’s is a quality that cannot be taught, but one that must be innate and harnessed. Through his actions, we learn what it takes to be a true leader and catalyst for change. If we were to apply some of the key behaviors every entrepreneur can practice in our daily lives, we should start with these:

1. Have a dream and follow your vision.
Great leaders are also great visionaries. The ability to develop a vision and dream for your life and to let that vision guide you is a powerful asset. Entrepreneurs must never grow weary of articulating their dreams and vision to others, as well as to themselves. We are in the business of big ideas; we must try to be visionaries, and if we can’t then at the least encourage that thinking. As an entrepreneur, you need clearly defined convictions and the courage to see them manifested into reality.

2. Become Impatient.
Within the fight for civic equality, Dr. King accomplished more in less than two decades than a previous 350 years had produced. Great entrepreneurs as great leaders should possess a sense of urgency and refuse to let things take its natural course. In order to truly succeed, one must take a proactive approach and learn to communicate persuasively to bring those goals to life.  As leaders within our organizations, it is essential to be the communicators that spark a sense of excitement around projects and inspire others to act now.

3.Be willing to do what you ask of others.
MLK inspired and motivated others to make change through his own actions. In order to advance in any situation, an entrepreneur needs to be a consistent source of stimulation and an example for employees or clients. The willingness to execute and get your hands dirty is a validation of a leader’s credibility. As your company and careers continue to grow, also retain the ability perform tactical duties and not only managerial and strategic responsibilities. TAKE ACTION! A team respects you that much more when you can lead by example and demonstrate your commitment and contribution to the entire unit.

We can learn plenty from the words and examples of Dr. Martin Luther King, whose memory we celebrate today on January 17th. We should live by two of Dr. King’s principles – equality and service. Remember, the more you serve those that work for you or with you and provide them what they need to do their jobs well or better, the greater your reward will be.

This post was originally published on the MACs Women’s Group blog.

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