Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream but what he eventually achieved through his life was much bigger than that dream. Seldom can a person achieve more than what one imagines or wishes for. Martin Luther King Jr. is one such rare icon in history.
While there are many reasons to remember the champion of civil rights, not many pay much heed to the Martin Luther King Jr. leadership style. There are some very fascinating insights that his life offers pertaining to leadership.
First, Martin Luther King Jr. was a man with conviction and persistence. He was unwavering and unflinching in his determination to achieve what he had set out for. Present day leaders in various professions lack persistence. They tend to change their goals and approaches depending on what is convenient. King did not do that. He stayed the course and pursued his goals, against all odds. But at the same time, he was smart and flexible enough to explore uncharted terrains and to use unused options to achieve the same goal. This is again what many modern leaders lack. Leadership is not about finding an alternate goal or to find an objective that is achievable. Leadership is about finding a way to achieve the goal. That is precisely what King did.
Martin Luther King Jr. leadership style was as much about inspiring others as it was about empowering them. His vision or dream became universal and grand because he pegged it in such a manner. He inspired others to share the dream. At the peak of his movement, the dream King had was no longer his dream. It had become a dream for most people in America and for innumerable people across the world. He managed to inspire people. He did not want to lead the people. Instead, he empowered the people to choose him as the undisputed leader. Instead of driving the force from top to bottom, King Jr. derived his strength from the masses and channeled it through the top to have a much greater impact.
Martin Luther King Jr. leadership style was about leading by example and he did everything in his capacity and within his potential to achieve what could be accomplished. He was a fierce yet polite, ambitious yet reasonable man and all such traits among others are very prominent in Martin Luther King Jr. leadership style.