Leading from within just like Martin Luther king

Leadership, or being a leader for a team, is going to figure quite high on my agenda this year. Part of my personal development plan is to look at being an effective leader. I’ll share what I pick up along the way and I hope that you’ll also offer some insight in the comments.

I saw an article in the Harvard Business Review about Martin Luther King (link below). What I picked up from this article, is that King had a vision but that vision was not in isolation. The vision related to the basic principles of the US constitution; that all were equal and had basic rights – please forgive my simplistic rendering.

Therefore, to be an effective leader we should develop a personal vision, but that vision can, or even should, be tied to a larger mission. The larger mission provides a ready audience to hear your vision and follow you.

In the business environment the company’s mission may change and develop. Quite often, at the very top, a personal vision and a company’s mission may evolve in synchronicity.

  • What is the dream that you or I have?
  • What would we like to see happen?

These are the sort of questions that can help form our vision.

  • Why do I want to see this happen?

That is the type of question that has shaped or will shape the mission.

It is the vision that motivates both the visionary and the followers. The vision is active and drives people forward. So, ‘what is my dream?’

Leadership and Martin Luther King’s Dream – Rosabeth Moss Kanter – Harvard Business Review