“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
It is really easy to look back throughout history at the likes of Dr King, and think how incredible he was.
But what is NOT easy is applying even just a small percentage of what he did in his life.
And by that I actually mean taking risks, being a leader, embracing fear.
Dr King was ultimately a human being too, and I look at him as such an enormous inspiration for leaders all over the globe.
I learnt how to be a leader from the greats throughout history, and it is really hard and would be foolish NOT to include Dr King in that argument.
The fact he was so influential, and having seen a positive dream come true really gets me quite emotional.
There are many leadership lessons we can learn from this great man, and we should have them written in stone or in our bathroom mirror to help us take on the trials and tribulations of life.
Becoming a leader does not just mean however leading a political movement.
It means leading your life to something better, and a wonderful future.
If you sacrifice who you are today, your future self will thank you for it 10 fold.
We are currently living in a digital age, where social media has warped our mind to think certain ways.
We are either right wing or left wing, atheist or religious.
None of that matters.
What truly matters to anyone individual is what they truly believe in.
Imagine going to a terrible job every day having your boss tell you what to do, the government, your community, or worse on top of all that, your partner.
It is a system, to keep you down in the pecking order, hardly an influence, and essentially pigeon holed into a way of thinking that benefits everybody but yourself.
But Dr King, would he just lay down or take it, or stand up for what is right and what he believes in?
Here are four leadership lessons we can learn from the great man himself:
- KNOW YOUR CAUSE
Whether it be a political dream, or a business dream, stay true to what you are fighting for.
I know a guy who wanted to have his own restaurant, it was his ultimate dream.
He was the best cook we knew, and he left his office job to open up a Seafood restaurant.
This guy initially became so successful, you had to book a month in advance to get a table!
But as his popularity grew, his attention did too.
And people came to him offering different advice for his menu, for his décor, everything!
Fast forward a few weeks later, and he was selling pizzas, had live music, painted the walls darker, and it became a mess – all because he listened to everybody else.
His quality went down the pan, and so did is focus.
And with that, he lost all his money as the restaurant was just all over the place, and therefore his dream.
Know your cause, still to what it is that you want to achieve.
It is very easy to get distracted, listen to others.
However Dr King didn’t, he knew exactly what is dream was, and he stuck to it no matter what.
And it became reality, and he will forever be a legend as a result.
- EMBRACE YOUR FEARS
I was surprised to find out DR King often felt scared or worried before a speech that he would make.
“If you are not anxious, you are not engaged.”
What fears have held you back in your life?
What are you afraid of for not doing what you know in your heart to be right?
In my life, Dr King inspired me to face my fears.
I quit my job to work for myself.
I was nervous of talking but I started a YouTube channel and blog.
I was told I was “stupid” – but I wrote and published my own novel.
I was told “I am not a business man,” – but I have been in business for over a decade for myself.
I was told “you’ll never attract a woman,” – and I have been lucky to have plenty of girlfriends.
Notice a trend here?
People will encourage fears and insecurities in others even know they are possibly there already.
What that means is, yes it’s hard to work for yourself, but it’s even harder to not do what your heart truly desires.
The fact that one of the most inspirational speakers to have ever lived aka Dr King was nervous, and scared makes him more human than perhaps we ever truly realized.
So by knowing that use that as inspiration to face your demons, and your life will improve dramatically as you do so.
- PEOPLE INVOLVEMENT
There is no I in team.
And this couldn’t be truer when it comes to being a born leader.
Without the people and audiences he inspired, Dr King’s words would never have had the impact they did, and nobody would remember him.
He wanted people to join him in his cause.
My channel just recently grew to over 100 subscribers, and I got very emotional thanking the wonderful people who have joined my community.
Without people to believe and follow your cause, what are you?
Nothing but just another person.
Same with a company, Walt Disney was a leader but had an amazing team of imaginers and animators who brought his visions and desires to life.
These people legacies are accelerated thanks to the people behind the goal and vision.
Leaders get people involved into their vision.
Like all great leaders Dr King faced plenty of setbacks and moments of failure.
He was arrested over 20 times, his house was bombed and set aflame, and he was even stabbed!
But King never let these obstacles stand in his way.
When I discovered this it just made me respect the man even more.
In my life as mentioned before, I was told I would never amount to anything.
All great leaders rise above adversity, and persevere.
There are countless examples of those who never gave up and fought for what they dreamed and believed in.
These are the marks of a truly exceptional leader, and if you implemented just a fraction of what Dr King did, who knows what you can achieve.
Happy Martin Luther King Day!