3 Leadership Lessons from ‘ I Have a Dream ’

i have a dream“The heart and soul of effective leadership is the means by which we motivate, inspire, and drive others to live up to their full potential.” –Stephen Young, MicroMessaging

At the end of summer, our nation celebrated the 50 year anniversary of the ‘ I Have a Dream ‘ speech.  The primary driver of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s effectiveness is part due to technical brilliance, but more he understood the inseparable relationship between leadership and communication.  Each is an extension of the other and as impossible to divorce from each other as chickens and eggs.

Three leadership lessons from ‘ I Have a Dream ’

    • Reminds us what we already knowStanding on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King opened with the words, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.” Instantly the audience is connected to the wholeness of an empowering truth already known, their freedom has already been ensured. Leadership is just as much connecting people to truths that deep down they already know as it is helping them discover new truths. 
    • Articulates the big picture in detailsDr. King is a master of metaphor and powerful parables as tools to make big dreams concrete in the listener’s mind.  One of the great failings of leadership of our time is that too few leaders take the time to inspire other to follow.  Visioning the big picture is part of great leadership; the other part is making those big truths relevant for those you expect to follow.  Too often I hear leaders criticize their constituents for not being able to see the big picture.  That is the job of leadership!  Dr. King used a very concrete symbol of segregation to explain the consequences of a polarizing issue when he delivered, “We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: ‘For Whites Only.’”
    • Unquestioned authenticityEvery element of this speech is saturated in authenticity.  Not only because of who delivered it, a man willing to go to jail for his moral conviction, but also in how it was delivered.  Dr. King’s speech is technically brilliant in delivery.  His meter starts at about 50 words per minute allowing the audience to be drawn in, suggesting that he stands in the rightness of his message.  There is no need to rush a message that must be heard.  Starting with a slower meter also allows the crescendo as he launches into the impromptu ‘I have a dream’ section have the appropriate tone of authentic passion.  Too fast of a meter in speech raises suspicion in the minds of the audience. Dr. King also uses pauses of silence to allow his audience to digest all that they are hearing and this too lends to his authenticity.  We don’t tend to promote reflection over ideas we don’t truly believe ourselves.

 

Messaging (leadership) books that I love:

For the official transcript of this speech

Shawna Beese-Bjurstrom, RN, MBA lives in Spokane, WA with her family where she is an Executive/Business Coach.  She writes on issues such as healthcare strategy, operational excellence, communication, and leadership, read her blog.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 350,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog

74 COMMENTS

  1. fantastic issues altogether, you just received a brand new reader. What may you suggest in regards to your post that you simply made some days ago? Any positive?

  2. como ganhar na lotofacil, acertar na lotofacil, ganhar na lotofacil, como ganhar na lotofacil de verdade, como ganhar na lotofacil sempre, como ganhar na lotofacil 2020, como ganhar na lotofacil 100 garantido, dicas lotofacil, como acertar na lotofacil, dicas para ganhar na lotofacil

  3. como ganhar na lotofacil, acertar na lotofacil, ganhar na lotofacil, como ganhar na lotofacil de verdade, como ganhar na lotofacil sempre, como ganhar na lotofacil 2020, como ganhar na lotofacil 100 garantido, dicas lotofacil, como acertar na lotofacil, dicas para ganhar na lotofacil

  4. How come I get this ? when using Firefox and when I am using Internet Explorer shows what I am supposed to get, (Wed) ,as the text. If you cannot see what I put down it is a small box with the numbers 26 and 20 inside of it.. Is there a fix for my problem?. Thanks in advance..

  5. Setidaknya, ada 6 macam sistem bercocok tanam hidroponik yang perlu Anda ketahui, yakni sistem sumbu (wick system), irigasi (drip system), pasang surut (ebb & flow), NFT (nutrient film technique), rakit apung (water culture), dan aeroponik.

  6. I am curious to find out what blog system you have been utilizing? I’m having some minor security issues with my latest blog and I would like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?

  7. I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself. I absolutely enjoy reading everything that is posted on your website.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  8. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  9. I would like to get across my passion for your kind-heartedness giving support to people who really need help on this situation. Your personal dedication to passing the message along has been really good and has regularly permitted people like me to arrive at their objectives. This informative tutorial denotes this much to me and far more to my fellow workers. Many thanks; from everyone of us.

  10. Just wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  11. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossip and internet stuff and this is actually irritating. A good site with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for making this website, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  12. I’m impressed, I must say. Really not often do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the difficulty is one thing that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for one thing relating to this.

  13. I just couldn’t depart your site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info an individual supply to your guests? Is gonna be again incessantly in order to check up on new posts.

  14. Hi there. I found your site by means of Google at the same time as looking for a similar topic, your web site came up. It seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  15. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you must write extra on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  16. Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot
    of spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  17. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed
    to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries
    that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect ,
    people can take a signal. Will likely be back
    to get more. Thanks

  18. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as
    though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to
    read?

  19. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding
    more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  20. 740766 249541Most appropriate the human race messages function to show your and present exclusive chance with special couple. Beginer appear system in advance of raucous individuals will most likely always be aware most with the golden value off presentation, which is a persons truck. greatest man jokes 613140

  21. hi!,I like your writing so so much! percentage we keep in touch more approximately your article on AOL? I need an expert in this area to resolve my problem. May be that is you! Having a look forward to see you.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here