There’s so much to reflect upon as we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. There are far more eloquent and substantive articles written to commemorate the man, but I’m happy to take a moment to remind you that MLK was a leader.
Not an Angel, perfect representation of an Ambassador of freedom, or mythic figure.
A leader – pure and simple.
Even further, he was far from a meek reincarnation of Mahatma Ghandi…in fact, he was radical in his quest for civil AND economic rights for African Americans and the oppressed.
When I wrote about Dr. King’s stature among the most recognized transformational leaders of our lifetime, I did not underscore the breathtakingly significant summation of his work on my behalf – and on behalf of all African Americans.
Simply put, Dr. King did what great leaders do. Instead of encouraging his followers to AVOID the things that stand in the way of their success, he charged them to CONFRONT those things – despite the physical, mental, and systematic terror unleashed – and KEEP CONFRONTING them until change comes.
One vital duty of leadership is to encourage followers to confront the comfort of complacency and embrace the journey toward success (insert your applicable definition of “success” here) – no matter the perils of discouragement that appear along the way.
As we commemorate the birth of one of the greatest leaders of a generation, let’s commit ourselves to remaining authentic leaders who compel others to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.