“Leadership is a
process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a
common goal.” (Northouse, 2016). Dr. Martin L King Jr., was a courageous individual,
a martyr who name, beliefs, and philosophies posthumous still positively
inspires the world we live in today. MLK was a transformational leader with the
traits of having strong moral values, being inspirational, and a visionary. “Leaders
are people who tap the motives of followers in order to better reach the goals
of leaders and followers” (Northouse, 2016).
Dr. King started
his collegiate experience at Morehouse University at the age of 15, and then continued
his education receiving his doctorate from Boston University at the age of 25 in
Philosophy in Systematic Theology. Systematic
Theology is a form of theology in which the aim is to arrange religious
truths in a self-consistent whole (Jenson 1997). This background along with additional
factors in his premature life allowed Dr. King to have resilient moral values,
which guided him throughout his life. This level of competence permitted him to
effectively illustration a high level of confidence in his philosophies. Dr. King’s
ability to articulate his objectives and ideas made him an oratorical prodigy,
which allowed others to comprehend his vision.
Dr. King was able to stimulate others by his capability
to make positive changes in a diplomatic and non-violent manner. The ability to
instill his religious beliefs with his goals for change let others see his righteousness
and confide in his ideology. In his famous “I Have a Dream Speech”, Dr. King
states “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out
the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that
all men are created equal.” (King, 1963). He vividly painted futuristic pictures
of equality, while moreover telling you the paths needed to achieve these goals.
A true authentic visionary, Dr.
King’s leadership displayed through not only his words but also his actions as
Dr. King impact
on individuals stemmed for his courageousness, and the way he personified his
beliefs to make change in a non-violent way. He was an advocate for non-violent
protests, he lead the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, in addition even creating
the Southern Christian leadership conference; all peaceful concepts met with
hate and aggression. “Transformational leadership motivates followers to do
more than expected by ….. getting followers to transcend their own self-interest
for the sake of the team or organization.” (Northouse, 2016). Dr. King could get
his followers to see themselves, not only for what they were worth; but for
what they could potentially become. This ability not only captured the minds of
African Americans, but other races including whites as well. Dr. King is perceived
as a beacon of hope for those in favor of equality, while disliked by those
rejecting change and refusing progression.
In comparison to
the magnitude of people impacted, and ability to inspire hope; I can only
compare one to Dr. King, our nation’s 44th president Barack Hussein
Obama, II. A person of multiracial heritage, President Obama grew up with a
different approach on race relations. He was exposed to ideals and concepts of
multiple races, giving him an open approach to social justice. While working as
an organizer, President Obama said he was enlightened to “the power of the
African-American religious tradition to spur social change.” (Obama, 2006).
A method also used by Dr. King. President Obama transformational leadership espouses
the traits of strong moral values, being inspirational, and being a visionary
by his passion propel the American people, break boundaries, and make into fruition
perceived unthought-of notions.
Similar to Dr.
King, President Obama not only spoke about change, but also effectively created
it. At the National prayer breakfast in 2012, President Obama stated “We can’t
leave our values at the door. If we leave our values at the door, we abandon
much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries, and
allowed us to become somewhat more perfect a union. … This is no different
today for millions of Americans, and it’s certainly not for me.” (Obama, 2012).
It takes someone who is strong willed to maintain positive morals especially as
the leader of these United States.
The ideals of
hope President Obama painted as he campaigned for his presidency, inspired the
lives of millions wanting change in our nation, much like Dr. King’s message of
equality. President Obama, not only envisioned change but also implemented it: from
his rescue of the country from a recession, to his affordable care act, supporting
rights of the LGBTQ community, and many other outstanding accomplishments. He will
be remembered as the first black president, and by many, one of the greatest
presidents of all time.
both of these transformational leaders passionately developed, conveyed,
propelled, and lead theirs visions in a transcending way, gaining them millions
of devoted inspired followers, who were confident in their ability of change
through non-violence and hope.