Average leaders focus on results, and that’s it. Good leaders focus also on the behaviors that will get the results. And great leaders focus, in addition, on the emotions that will drive these behaviors. –Hitendra Wadhwa (professor, Columbia Business School / Founder, Mentora Institute)

On Monday the United States celebrated the life and memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King was a minister, a civil-rights activist, an advocate of nonviolence, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner (1964).

He was also a leader that lived his life with courage and integrity and encouraged others to do the same. He held true to his beliefs, and promoted the behaviors required for everyone to be judged on their personal qualities, (not their color) and that violence not be responded to with violence, but rather with actions of peace. Talk about living and leading with courage and integrity!

Dr. King influenced so many without being arrogant, without being a bully, without looking down and speaking poorly of others, and without being divisive.  Quite the contrary, his focus was on peace and unity, and one of his most famous quotes was “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

Professor Wadhwa provides the following insights from Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I HAVE A DREAM” speech:

  • Great leaders do not sugar-coat reality
  • Great leaders engage the heart
  • Great leaders refuse to accept the status quo
  • Great leaders create a sense of urgency
  • Great leaders call people to act in accord with their highest values
  • Great leaders refuse to settle
  • Great leaders acknowledge the sacrifice of their followers
  • Great leaders paint a vivid picture of a better tomorrow

In closing, we want to share one last quote: The time is always right to do what is right.
Great words to live by don’t you think?