Friday, the entire Chick-fil-A corporate staff spent the day in downtown Atlanta. The day began and ended in the Martin Luther King National Historic District. I’m not really old enough to remember the injustice that Dr. King battled in the 60s, but I’m old enough now to understand the influence that he had on the Civil Rights Movement. What can today’s leaders learn from his example?
In January, I wrote a post entitled, Why Did People Follow Dr. King? Today, I’d like to think with you about the source of his influence – and what may be the catalyst for our influence as well… Dr. King had a dream.
Students of leadership may look at King’s dream of racial equality and think of it as his vision. That may be a fair translation but regardless of the term we use to describe it, his picture of a preferred future challenged our nation to end an injustice the world had ignored for generations.
What made his dream/vision so compelling? Here are a few thoughts…
It was a dream that focused on others. King was a serving leader not a self-serving leader.
It was a dream that called out the best in people.
It was a dream that aligned with higher moral law.
It was a dream that burned within him. He could no longer tolerate the status quo.
It was a dream that King was personally committed to achieve – no matter the personal cost. After his home was bombed in 1956, he said, “I’ve come too far to stop now.”
It was a dream that would matter for generations to come.
I understand that my dream and yours will probably not achieve the level of recognition that Dr. King’s dream did, but that doesn’t make our dreams less relevant or important. The dream we have for our family, our co-workers, our organizations and the ministries we serve all matter. Leadership always begins with a picture of the future. Dr. King had his picture so clearly embedded in his soul that it impacted everything he did.[GLS_Shield]
How about you - what's your dream?