Dr King’s thoughts and business

Dr King’s Leadership Ideas work well in business and leadership.

Many of Martin Luther King’s ideas fit well in business. Whether to honour Dr King’s Birthday or to look at new ways to tackle business challenges, consider reviewing his ideas, quotes, and speeches. You will find a lot of points that will echo common concepts in Business Management and Leadership.

Moulder of Consensus

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but moulder of consensus.” Dr King said this in an address at the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington in 1968. Business leaders must often create consensus. Seek out the different points of view, respect them, and acknowledge them in meetings. The final plan can rarely reflect the complete desires of everyone. However, more people will be on board with the final plan if you have heard everyone. This idea matches Stephen Covey’s Principle of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Use Time Creatively

“We must use time creatively.” Dr King wrote this in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail in 1963. Business leaders often get trapped in the day to day routine. As hard as it might be, it is important to step out of the routine, think creatively and active creatively. King was talking about methods to protest and create social change, but business requires “thinking outside the box.” In Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth, this idea is stated as “Work on your business, not just in your business.” Look for creative solutions to move your business ahead and invest time in those solutions.

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” Most social movements have started with a small dedicated working for the goal. Often in a business environment, you may need to step into a smaller group that you believe has the best ideas. Entrepreneurs are usually those who go in a different direction. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs at Apple stepped away from the majority to start a revolution in personal computing. Herb Kelleher at Southwest Airlines stepped away from traditional airlines to start a revolution in American air travel. The risk involved in joining that small group is often outweighed by the success and the positive change.

Consider these and other ideas by Dr King when you are looking to improve as a business leader or re-focus your team on a fundamental principal. His ideas are universal and work well in a business environment.

By: Nabeel Niaz

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