How to be an inspirational leader

The best leaders in history have been inspired others throughout time. A great leader is someone that empower their community, help them to be better and give them the motivation to achieve their goals successfully. Effective leadership is the one that doesn’t give up easily, on the contrary, is aware of the problems and affront the situation with positiveness.

When you’re an inspiration to your community, they will be more efficient and productive. They’ll pass your message and motivation to others, and you’ll have a strengthened group that will grow by your side as long as you’re committed to them and the goal. Anyone can be a leader, but the truth is, just a few are a real incentive for others. The following tips will help you to become an unconditional leader for your team, just believe in yourself and do your best for those who are on this journey with you.

BE PASSIONATE

Being passionate about the vision or goal is vital to success. You have to feel motivated with a lot of enthusiasm for your company and the missions you want to accomplish. The more connected you’re with the tasks, the more your community will be associated with your dreams too. Inclusion, integrity, communication, and sensitivity are just some of the qualities you need to embrace with your team. There’s not a chance that you become a true leader if the people feel they’re unwanted or that you don’t care about them.

LISTEN TO OTHERS

As you want to inspire others, you have to listen to them in order to know them and understand their ideas, wishes, and dreams. How can you create a true connection if you don’t generate a link with your team? To make your goal meaningful, you have to allow others ideas and thoughts. They have to feel part of it, and they’ll help you along the way to make your goals come true. Incorporate your community, and they’ll be faithful to your project. An inspirational leader is the one that includes others and helps them to believe in themselves.

BE UNIQUE

Competent leadership isn’t common. To achieve your goals and inspire others you have to be unique. Your behave, strategy and business vision has to be your signature. To stand out nowadays, you have to create your path and emphasizes your capabilities that make your idea different from others. If you operate generically, your community won’t see anything special to follow with you. So, be unique!

TRUSTWORTHY AND COMMITTED

The motivation of your team will be related to your commitment to your vision, promises, etc. They need to follow someone that creates a trustworthy environment, and that shows its passion for the goal every single time. Leaders should stick to their tasks and make the ideas reliable to motivate others.

FEAR DOESN’T EXIST

Fear? No. Real leaders don’t feel fear of failure or anything. They know about possible problems that could happen ad they’ll attack them with elegance. The difficulties are part of the process, and they see them as an opportunity to be better. If you want to be a leader, you have to be persistent and work hard to achieve your dreams. People follow those who are strong enough to feel motivated in the most difficult moment and always find a way to overcome any obstacle. Feel the motivation and be the motivation to others.

Indispensable habits of notable leaders

If you want to become a well-respected effective leader, you should try to put these habits into practice. It’s not simple to climb to an honored position of leadership in our society or an organization. Nowadays the competition is fierce in all the fields, and you need to find your unique way to stand out from the crowd.

Great leaders help others to be better, they see more in people, and they help them to understand it too. Their dreams are significant, and they want to share with others the tools to accomplish great things and develop into the person their desire to be. A valuable leadership is influential, dynamic, productive, and it merges a variety of particular skills into a cohesive whole.

Most successful leaders didn’t get that position by accident. They worked, learned, and applied the different habits of great leadership. Here there are:

  1. Set your goals. To be a person with character and be a leader in your environment, you must know your goals and develop a vision. Is important that you project your dreams into the future and have absolute clarity about the things you want to accomplish. Believe in yourself, imagine your life as perfect as can be, without no limitations. Create that image and go for it.
  2. Be the best. How can you be a leader if you’re not good at what you do? You have to work hard to be the best in the area you love. Focus all your energies into your dream and you’ll build the organization you always dream of. Strive to making your business the greatest of the industry; commit to be inimitable and you’ll succeed.
  3. Be fearless. One important habit of any leader is to be courageous. Everybody has big dreams, hopes, and visions for their future, but only a small group have the necessary to risks themselves and make those dreams into realities. Don’t be afraid of failing, that is an important aspect of the process; you’ll fail, many times, the secret is learning from those failures and keep towards your direction.
  4. Communicate properly. Communication it’s a fundamental element of any leader towards to accomplish their objectives. It is impossible to become an exceptional leader until you develop great communication skills. Leaders should inspire people, and how can you motivate them if you can’t connect with them? If you’re a leader, you have the ability to understand others and to speak directly to their needs.
  5. Emotional intelligence. You have to be sure about who you are, your skills, weakness, and strengths. A leader focusses his strategies on their strengths and found a way to compensate the weaknesses into something positive.
  6. Humility is the key. Yes, a leader should have a great self-esteem but, in any way, he may think his better than anyone else. A true leader doesn’t use their position of authority to abuse of others, on the contrary, they’re willing to do the dirty work as well.
  7. Be generous. Exceptional leaders are generous and share their credit. They’re happy about other success, and they inspire all the time. If you want to be a great leader, you should care about each person as an individual and give them the best of you.

What do you think? Do you have the will to be the best leader? With the habits mentioned before you’ll start the correct path to become a great leader. Go for it!

Steps To Becoming A Great and Dependable Leader

As a leader of 2 people or 2000 people, there is one thing that remains constant; all eyes are always on you. And as a person leading others, it goes without saying that you want to be a good and dependable leader – a person that others can look up to and follow.

Leadership is an ambition that comes in many forms. For some, their vision is to impact the companies they work for or run, while for others, it is making a global change.

Whatever your drive is, it is worth noting that there are some particular skills that, if applied, could help you become the kind of leader you want to become and know you can become. Here is a look at four crucial things you need to consider as you work on your leadership skills.

Own Your Actions

As a leader, it is essential to accept the fact that every word, action, and gesture you make is translated by those you lead to a meaningful message. Many leaders don’t believe this truth. Matter of fact, most leaders, confuse who they think they are with how people perceive them. The way you see yourself and how others see you can sometimes be two entirely different things. It is, therefore, vital every word, gesture and action you make when leading others is one that pushes others to become better. And should anything go wrong, be a person that owns up to your mistakes – though it is vital that you do your best to be almost perfect in everything you do.

Evaluate Yourself

One of the best self-awareness tools any good should possess is evaluation – a 360 evaluation. The idea, originating from the 50’s, requires that you ask people who work for or with you to anonymously answer several questions about your efficacy, behavior, skills, ability to lead and communicate. The great thing about this evaluation is that you get intelligible feedback about how people see and think of you. Though the results can be somewhat mind-bending, the feedback is a great way to see areas of your life and leadership that could use some improvement. This approach will often require an unassuming nature.

Get A Mentor

Evaluating yourself is just the beginning of this journey. Interpreting your results and then doing something about them is where things get tough. It is here that coaching will be required. Though you may have innate leadership skills, it is still vital that you find someone who will, on a regular basis, help you maintain your objectivity. A mentor isn’t a motivator – his or her role is not to give you pep talks or to pump you up. He or she should be someone who gives you critical and honest feedback and helps you find your path to growth. When looking for one, look for someone who pushes you to be better and preferably, someone who is a leader in his or her own right.

Improve Yourself

As a leader, it is vital that you are always ahead of the pack. It is not a good look when a follower is more knowledgeable than you, way better than you at solving problems and motivates others better than you. In leadership keeping up is not enough, especially when it comes to leadership in business, which can be quite competitive. It is important that you are ahead of the curve and growth, responding to change, and learning is critical. Cultivate a desire/passion for learning for yourself and your team. Be well-informed on different subject matters to attain greater insight.

A good leader should not set out just to be a leader but to be someone who makes a difference. It is never about the title, position, or role; it is about making a lasting impact.

Dads Rock! Leadership Skills You Can Learn From Fathers

Good leadership skills often take years to build. Mostly, people have someone they emulate when it comes to picking up leadership skills. More often than not, dads are where people start looking.

Today, we’ll be talking about the various leadership skills that people can learn from their dads.

Dads never stop learning

Fathers, in general, constantly learn new things. You don’t really think the skills they have about fixing things or maintaining cars just popped out of nowhere, do you? As the head of any family unit, fathers often take it upon themselves to pick up knowledge to help them take care of their family better.

When the ear of computers started, a lot of fathers out there had to tackle something quite unprecedented and succeeded. Personally, it was my father that taught me everything I needed to know about computers. He shared his own stories of the times when he had to learn new things to truly look out for us.

Leaders, in order to be effective, need to constantly learn new things. This helps them guide their team through new issues as they may come.

Dads are great economizers

Fathers are often the source of livelihood of a home. As such, they have a pretty solid idea of how hard it is to earn money and how it should be spent. If certain expenditures exceed their income, they somehow make do with what they have. Fathers are able to accurately spot the value of things. They avoid the tragedy of overpaying. They avoid waste when they can.

This is an attribute that good leaders should aim to have. It’s always completely possible that leaders will be handed a project wherein funds are scarce. Good leaders should then be able to plot out the most economic way to get the job done.

Dads rarely give up

Having to balance a romantic relationship, children, work, and other familial obligations can be crushingly hard. Upon starting a family, fathers are presented challenge after challenge. If you had a good upbringing, it’s a safe bet that behind the scenes, it was anything but rosy. However, as much as possible, fathers try to look as if they’re not struggling. Instead of giving up despite all the adversity, fathers persevere.

This is something that leaders can learn from. Not all assignments will be easy. Instead of folding, it’s important to persevere. Think of a duck serenely floating upon a lake’s surface. What a lot of people don’t realize is that while that may seem effortless, the duck’s legs are paddling like crazy beneath the surface.

 

Dads give a sense of security

It doesn’t bode well for a family to have the head as the source of uncertainty. Chances are, that’s the recipe for a dysfunctional family. For a strong family, a steady father is crucial. Despite the hard times, if a father seems certain and secure, the rest of the family will too.

This ties in quite well with the point above. Good leaders need to be stronger than their members. They need to appear unperturbed by sudden events and to stay the course. Doing so keeps the other members of the team calm and able to perform their jobs.

 

Mothers Rule: Leadership Skills You Can Learn From Mom

Good leaders aren’t born–they’re made. Who makes them? Mothers, of course. It is often the case when it comes to handling positions of leadership, people usually look for role models. We can look to established political leaders or even those that lead our religious congregations. However, if you want to tap into leadership that you’ve experienced hands on, there’s no other place to look to but home.

Mothers are the queens of the household. Even in chess, the Queen is able to do more than the king. So it’s a fairly good bet that anyone would be able to pick up solid leadership skills from their matriarch. Today, we list a few:

Mothers listen intently

In order to grasp the whole situation, good leaders need to listen well. Leaders will need to take in various accounts from different people. Then, they’ll need to be sift through the information and make a decision. It can be intimidating but you can probably remember how your mother did it. Remember times when she had to sit through fights between siblings. She had to take in often contrary accounts and discern which is truth.

She also had to come up with a decision on what to do afterwards. A mother would not be able to do that if she did not listen intently at the start. Being listened to also helps diffuse frustration in any person. When your team members feel that they are being heard, they are less inclined to falsify accounts. This is good for overall team synergy.

Mothers make sacrifices

Despite what old Stepford type movies would have you believe, life does not end when motherhood starts. When a woman becomes a mother, this does not mean that her own wishes and ambitions disappear. However, when a woman becomes a mother she makes the active decision to sacrifice her own needs and place the needs of her family first.

It doesn’t just stop there. In a mother’s daily life, little sacrifices are to be had. After putting the baby to bed, does she nap or will she take the chance to catch up on chores? When ordering her favorite pizza, will she get the last slice or will she allow her child to get it? It’s in the little things that people often overlook.

Leaders often need to make tough decisions. Sometimes, these decisions require the leader sacrificing their time or a made plan. It could be something as simple as not being able to go for a coffee break because a member needs a bit more support. When a leader shows their members that they are willing to take sacrifices for the betterment of all, this ultimately inspires and empowers them.

Mothers are meticulous

When you started going to school, there was a pretty big chance that your mother knew your schedule better than you did. A mother often has to have an iron grip on everyone’s schedules: dad’s office hours or business trips, PTA meetings, dentist schedules, etc. It wasn’t just limited to that as well. Mothers often have a strong mental list on the current state of the pantry and other household items.

This constant mental exercise helps them stay on top of things and keep incidents to a minimum. This is a skill that leaders can really benefit from. Keeping a strong mental grasp of the state of things, schedules, and events–leaders can be generally on top of things. The less area for surprises, the better a team performs.

These are just some of the few leadership skills that mothers display. So the next time you seem stuck and not quite sure how to address a situation, take a page out of your mom’s playbook. You may be pleasantly surprised that the answer what there all along.

Good Leaders Do These 4 Small Things

When in the presence of a good leader, it’s easy to spot how they stand apart from average ones. Good leaders are usually good public speakers. They are engaging and interesting. However, when put under a discerning eye, what are the small things that good leaders do that average leaders don’t? This is what we’ll be elaborating on in today’s discussion.

They use “we” instead of “I”

Good leaders replace the self-centered ‘I’ and make use of the inclusive “we” in their vocabulary. They understand that including their members in tasks and plans has a greater impact on cultivating their willingness and productivity. Take these two sentences for example:

Average leaders will say: “I will still have time to fix any confusion by the next developmental meeting.”
Good leaders will say: “We still have time to fix any confusion by the next developmental meeting.”

The first sentence implies that the leader is a one-man show; while, the second showcases that the leader and his team will be working together to address the issue. This makes it a good motivational point for the members to pitch in their own ideas to tackle the problem.

They remain calm in emergencies

In the middle of a crisis, it is easy to note who the control goes to–and it isn’t the person yelling their head off. It’ll be the person who remains calm while analyzing the situation. Good leaders keep a sturdy head upon their shoulders and think things through thoroughly before addressing it.

Who are employees more likely to have faith in: the person panicking or the person calmly surveying the issue? Good leaders carve out respect and trustworthiness in situations that would shake average leaders to their core. Even if they aren’t as calm on the inside, good leaders will always have presence of mind to be stronger than everyone else. No one wants a captain that falters at the first sight of a problem.

They adapt to situations quickly

On the same vein as the one above, should issues or emergencies arise, good leaders are able to take it in stride and adjust their plans of action accordingly. This isn’t only restricted to emergencies, too. It can apply to everyday situations.

Let’s say there’s one team member that’s a little slow on the response time when it comes to emails. Average leaders will more than likely send a reminder, pull the team member aside for a verbal reminder, and when it doesn’t change anything, a memo. Good leaders will, instead of sending a reminder, adjust their communication method with this team member by stopping by their desk and getting the response they need then and there.

Instead of letting an issue persist until it may turn toxic, good leaders adjust their strategies and come up with the smoothest course of action at the soonest opportunity available.

They make their presence felt

The last thing any employee would want is a disinterested boss or leader. Average leaders will give one ear and the rest goes to whatever task needs to be done. Good leaders will give you their full attention.

When team members see and feel that they aren’t disregarded, they be more inclined to do more for the team and their leader. It is also the more productive course of action–instead of giving only half their attention and doing a shoddy job at both tasks, taking care of a member’s concern and then finishing their own task will ensure better quality overall.

 

The Three Commonplace Leadership Styles

Leadership style, by definition, is the way or manner in which a person in charge wields power or authority over a group or a party of people. When you’re part of an organization or even if it’s just an informal group of people, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of the different leadership styles that have already been identified. This enables anyone to determine which leadership style would best fit the organizational situation or even how to meet challenges head on.

Being able to change and adapt to what the situation requires is one of the core capabilities expected of a leader. While there are other leadership styles that have been observed and studied, let’s take a look at three particular leadership styles: Strategic, Autocratic, and Democratic.

Strategic

Strategic leadership is primarily seen in a scenario wherein the leader is essentially the head of an organization but not necessary limited to it. This style showcases the ability of the leader to influence others to voluntarily make decisions that improve the projections for the group or organization’s long-term success all the while keeping a solid grip on the maintenance of long-term financial stability.

In other words, strategic leadership is used when the leader gets the people under them to make their own decisions with the company in mind. This does not make use of threats or force to get their people to follow. Having the vision and foresight to determine what words, activities, or actions to illicit such a response from their followers is indicative of strategic leadership. At the helm of most large companies, strategic leadership is truly required and the market can be volatile and will need a stern captain to weather through the storms effectively.

Autocratic

Autocratic leadership is all about the boss. The person in the position of leadership holds all the authority and the responsibility in the decision making. An autocratic style of leadership does not consult subordinates or other members of the team on what will be done regarding an issue or an event. Autocratic leaders determine actions, relay it to their subordinates, and expect immediate implementation. There is very little room for flexibility in the work environment of an autocratic leader.

A good example of this style of leadership is Donald Trump. While he has people under him to work on various details, all in the end, are turned over for his executive decision. Statistically speaking, there are a rather small percentage of organizations that last under such a leadership style.

Democratic

The democratic leadership style is aimed at eliciting contributions from the subordinates and members in a group. Unlike the autocratic leadership style, democratic style involves others in the decision making process. While all the responsibility is in the hands of the leader, delegation of authority is often done to others that have been known to exceed expectations in terms of performance.

In a way, an environment wherein democratic leadership is utilized has a better chance of developing other leaders that also use the democratic style of leadership. Statistically speaking, democratic leadership style is the most preferred in working environments. This preference stems from the platitudes commonly linked to a democratic style of leadership which are fairness, honesty, and competence.

Tips for Motivating Employees

Tips for Motivating Employees

A motivated employee will have an inherent enthusiasm in the workplace. People tend to have some sense of motivation about something in their life and work. Employers should have several tips for motivating employees to help fulfill their staff’s needs and expectations at the workplace. Here are a few tips that business should consider using.

  • Understand That Motivation Is A Process

More often than not, managers are task oriented quickly jumping to the next task after one is completed.  Those tasked with the various duties are subject to change with new employees coming in yet the management often going unscathed. The measures put in place to motive one group of employees will need to be reevaluated and changed to suit the new group of employees.  As such, any employee motivation processes in place need constant updates and consistent adaptation by the management.

  • Take A Look At Yourself

As a manager, you should understand that employee motivation starts with you. Traits such as enthusiasm, focus, honesty, and resilience are contagious and can be passed on to the employees. If the manager has and exudes such traits then he or she becomes an inspiration for the subordinate, a role model to emulate.

  • Get To Know Your Employees

While good working conditions and a nice salary are considered as employee motivators, they tend to fall short of expectations. Statistics show that most employees are inclines to perform better when given favorable working terms (that include a show or care and concern of their welfare by the management). This starts with learning several things about the staff, from a personal level, without having to ask; things such as their children’s names, their favorite food, or their hobbies. The manager can then use this information to connect with the staff.

  • Work From Individual Moving Up To Team Work

Businesses often view employee motivation from a “team” perspective forgetting that it is the employees that individually form the team. Therefore, motivation should start at an individual level as opposed to focusing on a team and it starts by learning what makes each employee tick while focusing on how to make each understand the benefits of working as an individual but as a part of a uniform team.

  • Build Trust In Them

While the management is in place to direct employees on what to do, how, and when, it also is important to build some level of trust in them. A vote of confidence is a show of faith that they can be trusted to deliver excellence with minimal guidance and supervision. If they are shown the bigger picture and taught how to take a leadership position in executing their duties, the employee will be more efficient in the workplace.

  • Radiate Positivity In The Workplace

A workplace with energy (zeal to work) flowing through the office always has a high output. Such energy should start from the top flowing down to the subordinates. As a manager, you should have an enthusiastic demeanor towards work and find a way to build the same in your employees.

As you exercise the above tips for motivation employees, keep in mind that too much work and no play makes jack a dull boy”, so find ways to incorporate some bit of fun in the work place. Joke around with your employees, find time to play games, or even play some music in the work place.

Top 5 Coaches in Sports

Top 5 Coaches in Sports

We have a guest post this week from Prakash, located in India.  Have a read:

Sports are very important in life. We have grown up while playing the sports, and some kids choose sports their career while others move towards some other professions. The professionals, as well as the non-professional people both, enjoy the sports. They are connected to it. People have chosen their favorite games that they follow constantly.

The professionals who have chosen sports as their careers need coaches in their life. The coaching is very important. Whatever the field is, the people require coaches to learn and increase their expertise. When a person learns through a mentor or a particular coach, his chances of gaining the abilities increase because he has been trained by a particular person who is an expert in the field and has served his whole life watching, playing and observing the game.

There are different coaches around the world; some played to become the coach, and some were famous players who were taken as the coaches later. The coaches have a huge responsibility to fulfill. They have to build career other than just training a person. The focus and the goals of the coaches are bigger that is why they can create stars out of their teams. There are various famous coaches in the world that have served their countries and the sports teams as well as the players while training them for better.

Scotty Bowman

The most inspirational coaches of all the times include the name of Scotty Bowman. He was a man of actions. He coached various players and helped them to get the best of best from life. He was a National Hockey League’s all-time coaching leader. He has been nominated for various awards for his services, and he won two of the Jack Adam’s Award as the League’s Best Coach. He is known for his performances. Not even a single coach of today’s time can be compared to him because he had put his all effort in his work. He has earned the name because he had about 1467 games that were successful and the results were winning. The coach of all times had 1244 wins in the regular seasons. He was the person who achieved about 13 Stanley Cup wins regarding four teams. He held a record of NHL that he had coached in 2141 contests in his lifetime. He was a man of actions who made the things work.

Pat Summitt

Pat Summit has been the world’s best women coach. She has been associated with the Tennessee’s women basketball team for about 38 years. It is a very long time in which she remained competent and aggressive towards the game. She has gathered about 1099 career victories in her life. She had eight national level champion wins that made her famous across the globe. Her team was never on a losing streak in a season while the winning and losing is the part of the game. She has been considered the second only to the John Wooden. When the world was looking forward to the games, this lady has been continuously marking the positions that she won.

Paul Bryant

Paul Bryant is nicknamed as Bear, and he was usually found to be wearing the houndstooth hat. He has been the coach of the college football for about 38 years. He had a ratio of about 323 wins in all the games while only 85 losses. He has a record of about 37 overall winning seasons, 29 post season bowl games, 14 conference championships and about five associated press nation championships. He died just after 28 days when he coached his last game.

Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi, whose name has been used to pronounce the super bowl trophy as The Vince Lombardi Trophy, was a man of success. He has about 96 wins in the games while just 34 losses. His ten year tenure of coaching the football, he never had a losing season. He coached the Green Bay Packers to their first 2 Super Bowls in the years of 1966and 1967. He has a record of 5 NFL championship wins from 1961-1967. His last act of coaching made the LED Washington team to win their first game in the 13 years.

John Wooden

John Wooden used to be the coach of college basketball at UCLA. He is considered to be the top among all the famous and successful coaches in the world. His career overview gives us the record of about 885 wins in his career in contrast to 203 losses ever. He has been famous for making the UCLA win t88 games consecutively from 1971-1974. He had four teams that had a flawless 30-0 record. Since he got retirement in the year 1975, he was the only person who has such successful career while others do not have a record of more than four winnings. He has been able to make his team win about 10 National Championships in 12 seasons that were from the year 1964 to 1975.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – A True Leader

In the textbook The Leadership Experience, Richard L. Daft describes a charismatic leader as a person having “the ability to inspire and motivate people to do more than they would normally do, despite obstacles and personal sacrifice” (359).  He characterizes a transformational leader as having “the ability to bring about significant change in followers…” (356)  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a multi-faceted leadership style that incorporated elements of both charismatic and transformational leadership as well as ethicality; these elements played a key role in his success as an advocate for civil rights during the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born into a highly religious family on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta Georgia (“Martin Luther King Jr.” 1).  His father was the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, just like his grandfather had been.  King attended a segregated public high school, and left part way through his time there in order to enroll at Morehouse College, where he would receive a degree in sociology (Downing 150).  During his time at Morehouse College, King was greatly influenced by the mentorship of a man named Howard Thurman.  Thurman helped King to see the inequality and social injustice that ran rampant in American society, and he also sparked King’s interest in the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi (Thurman 254).  King was so inspired by Gandhi that he flew to India to meet him.  While he was there, Gandhi taught King about non-violent resistance.  King later used his newly acquired knowledge in protests as he began working towards equality in society.

In 1955, segregation was very prominent in society because of the creation of the Jim Crow Laws.  These laws stated that blacks and whites had to use separate public facilities; they also created an unspoken law regarding the segregation of public transportation (Carter 1).  In March of 1955, a young woman named Rosa Parks stepped onto a bus and sat in the front row.  When asked by the driver to move to the back of the bus in order to accommodate a white passenger, she refused.  Parks was then placed under arrest (Kennedy 1017).  This sparked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s idea of a bus boycott, which would play a key role in the Civil Rights Movement.

At the time, King was President of the Montgomery Improvement Association.  On the night that Rosa Parks was to be tried, he gave a powerful speech urging all people to boycott the public transportation system (Kennedy 1021).  This was an ethical solution because it did not involve violence.  By not using public transportation, such as buses, people would have to find other ways to get to work or wherever else they needed to go.  King suggested other options of transportation, like walking, running, biking, or carpooling.  This demonstrated King’s ability to be a charismatic leader.  In spite of the difficulty his suggestion would cause the members of the black community, King was able to persuade the majority of them to boycott the system anyway, in the hope of making progress towards changing the laws on segregation.

King’s strong influence on the members of the community was greatly helped by his oratory skills.  Although he was not able to transform the thoughts of the community, he was able to gain mass support for the cause through his enthusiasm; many blacks had believed that the boycott would not last, but it continued to do so (Carson 449).  The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted from December 5, 1955 to December 21, 1956, a total of 382 days (Kennedy 1022).  This was far more effective than even King could have hoped because it created a bond within the black community and instilled the belief that change was possible.

The success of the boycott can also be attributed to King’s understanding and wide-spread use of the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi.  Gandhi advocated for what he called non-violent resistance.  This ethical method of resistance involved peaceful protest, and closely aligned with King’s religious beliefs (Huggins 480).  King was raised by a very religious Christian family, which had a tremendous influence on his upbringing and values.  He was taught through the Christian faith that violence was never the answer to a problem; there was always another solution.  King’s idea of boycotting the public transportation system in Montgomery worked well because of the fact that it was non-violent.  In taking part in this protest, the members of the black community were not committing a crime, and therefore, could not be arrested.  They were simply making a statement that if they continued to be treated poorly, they would find other means of transportation.

The most famous example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership style came on August 28, 1963 when he marched on Washington, D.C. with 300,000 supporters, and delivered his “I Have a Dream” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (Alvarez 337).  King spoke about racial inequality and his hope that one day racial discrimination would end.  He brilliantly incorporated phrases and ideas from the United States Constitution, the National Anthem, Shakespeare, and even the Holy Bible (Alvarez 342).  For example, King stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”  This is a direct quote from the United States Constitution.  King used this statement to prove a point, just as he did with all of his references.  King portrayed that upon the foundation of America, the Constitution was created in order to establish the fundamental rights of every human being and to ensure that everyone would be seen as an equal.  No one person would be treated any differently from another.  Though this is written in the Constitution, the United States government of the 1960s did not abide by it.  King explained that black men and white men should both be treated equally, and he shared his dream that one day his children would live in a land where everyone would enjoy freedom and would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character (Alvarez 355).

King’s “I Have a Dream” speech revealed in him clear transformational leadership qualities and ethical character.  His speech exposed the many flaws of American society and suggested that drastic changes needed to be made in order to achieve the social justice and personal liberty that America’s founders intended for our country with the drafting of the Constitution (King 6).  King’s speech also addressed the flawed economic system of the United States, stating that it advocated materialism and wrongly placed the focus on property instead of people.  King was trying to transform the beliefs of the general population and inspire people to take action on their own.  The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 following King’s “I Have a Dream” speech serves as proof that King was effective in promoting the ideals that he envisioned for society.  If nothing else, he made people think and question why things were the way they were.

Two more examples of King’s leadership are his protest speeches in opposition of the Vietnam War.  The war had begun in 1959 under President Lyndon B. Johnson (Fairclough 1).  Although King was opposed to the war, he waited until April 4, 1967 to publicly express his views; on this date, King gave his “Beyond Vietnam” speech (Darby, Rowley 43-44).  King’s biggest criticism of the war was the fact that the United States was “fighting for freedom” in Vietnam, when blacks were not free at home.  He stated that money currently being used for the war in Vietnam could be better used to fight poverty at home, which he believed to be one of the many causes of racism and social inequality.

King gave his second protest speech, “The Casualties of the War in Vietnam” on February 25, 1967 (King 12).  He began by stating that the United States was in violation of a United Nations’ charter because of the war against the Viet Cong.  He continued by stating, “In 1967, only 31 percent of eligible whites were inducted compared to 67 percent of eligible blacks” (Darby, Rowley 44).  For this reason, more blacks than whites were being killed in the Vietnam War.  King believed this to be evidence of the “manipulation of the poor.”  Black soldiers were being added to the draft more frequently than white soldiers, which was unethical.

These two speeches by King were very ambitious due to the scale and nature of the issue he was combating.  During times of war, people usually have adamant positions either for or against the war.  This makes it very difficult to influence peoples’ opinions on the subject.  King was able to slightly shift public opinion, but the majority of people still favored the war; this was a small victory for King.  He was successful because he created an emotional impact by appealing to the hearts and minds of the people, especially with his speech on the casualties of the war.  Speaking about the safety of soldiers brings emotions to the surface very easily.   King was widely criticized as having gone too far with these speeches; critics believed that King did not have the right to speak out against the war.

The final example of King’s leadership occurred in New York on April 15, 1967, when King attended and supported the largest peace demonstration in the history of the United States (Darby, Rowley 46).  King estimated that a crowd of 450,000 people showed up to the rally.  Its purpose was to stop the fighting in Vietnam.  At the rally, King revealed the hypocrisy of the American government, which advocated for democracy, yet supported a dictator in the Vietnam War (King 14). He also portrayed his personal belief that violence would not solve the problems in Vietnam.  King then outlined what needed to be changed in order for the war to end.

Again, King’s efforts were somewhat futile because he was in opposition of an issue that people had strong opinions on.  King did his best to sway public opinion against the war by showing how hypocritical the government’s actions were.  King most strongly exhibited aspects of transformational leadership when he voiced a list of changes that he believed could end the war; this proposed solution gave people hope and supported the idea that the war could end without any more violence.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 (King 17).  He had envisioned a utopian society where everyone was equal, and he had worked toward that goal for the entirety of his adult life.  King’s leadership style contained elements of charismatic, transformational, and ethical leadership, which were deeply rooted in his values as a Christian.  Many of the societal changes that occurred during his lifetime cannot be attributed directly to him because he was only one of many civil rights activists, but we know for sure that he had a strong influence on the people and helped to push America in the right direction.

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