Today, our country honors Martin Luther King Jr. On August 28, 1963, he spoke to approximately 250,000 people and declared, “I have a dream.”
While much could be said about that day and the incredible speech given, several questions come to mind related to our leadership.
Do we have a dream?
Is our leadership pursuing that dream?
Have we shared our dream with others?
Have we invited others to help achieve our dream?
Without a dream, it becomes challenging to develop vision, set goals, make plans, and achieve success. Are we dreaming yet?
In times of discouragement, “just keep putting one foot in front of the other” is sound counsel. We know the intent is one that emphasizes the forward progress needed to succeed. Regardless of the goal, if forward progress is made, eventually we will succeed and reach our goal.
Martin Luther King Jr. added intensity when he said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
The tenacity and determination needed to continue this forward progress as leaders is obviously easier-said-than-done.
Resistance often rears its ugly head. Outside forces challenge motives, decisions, and activities associated with our desire to move forward.
Sadly, and far too often, forces from within can create the greatest obstacles when we strive to lead.
No one is exempt and nothing is guaranteed.
Perhaps this is why MLK’s thought needs to be part of our thinking process. When the vision provides direction, let nothing keep us from “putting one foot in front of the other.”
Values keep us in check, but what are they?
They cannot be defined in the moment. To allow the situation to alter our values becomes descriptive of an individual “driven and tossed by the wind” (Jas. 1:6).
Leadership is built upon the foundation of our values. A good friend and colleague emphasizes the need to write them down, review them daily, and keep them timeless.
The benefit of this process comes through evaluating our actions with our values. We ensure the consistency of life as we align the conduct of our life with our values.
These values should not ever change, unless we personally change. When someone becomes a Christian, their worldly values should change to godly ones. Our thoughts, words, and actions must always be consistent with the individual God wants us to be.
Is it easy? No! However, the effort makes all the difference in our leadership influence.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others?” It is worth the time to contemplate this thought when establishing our values.