Monday, January 17th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday to honor and recognize the teachings of this great leader. Business owners and managers can learn a great deal about how to be a better leader from Dr. King. He was a man of patience, inspiration, respect and courage. Today on the blog, we’ve rounded up crucial lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that business owners and managers can implement to become stronger leaders, no matter the industry.

Believe in Better

We all recognize the words in Dr. King’s most famous speech, “I Had a Dream.” That’s how great leaders begin, with a dream to leave the world a better place. Managers need to have a vision and stick with it, while also inspiring their employees to work towards that vision. When you land on a vision, you must be clear and dedicated to achieving the goal, so that your employees feel inspired to also work toward the end-goal.

Acknowledge Those Who Help

Dr. King did not make the Civil Rights Movement happen on his own. He had a dedicated group of individuals and dreamers who helped along the way. Great leaders always take the time to thank and acknowledge the people that help their organization accomplish their goals. It’s important to never take full ownership or credit for an accomplishment. Always acknowledge how others assisted in achieving a goal. 

Refuse to Accept the Status Quo

This is a particularly important way of thinking for leaders to adopt. Sure, we all want to graze by and keep the status quo, but real change and innovation comes from shaking up the ordinary. It’s like Dr. King said in the quote above, that great leaders can be made in times of challenge and controversy, not so much the easy or convenient moments. 

Embrace a Challenge

Dr. King was never afraid of a challenge and all great leaders need to hold a similar line of thinking. It’s not that as a leader you cannot feel fear, because fear is a natural human response. Dr. King was surely met with feelings of fear before his speeches in front of thousands, but he always pushed on and made it happen. Leaders can learn from this attitude of embracing fear or challenges for the good of a best outcome. 

Build a Community

Dr. King is no doubt one of the most inspirational leaders of all time. His strength lied in the community he formed and inspired to make great change happen. The best leaders know how to inspire and drive their team to be the best version possible, even in the most difficult or challenging of times. 

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