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11 Modern Leadership Lessons from History's Masters

The lesson we all got to learn from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Throughout history, some individuals got to play bigger roles than others. Among them, Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that the success of a cause depends directly on the involvement of the people who joined it.

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11 Modern Leadership Lessons from History's Masters

11 Modern Leadership Lessons from History's Masters

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/296350

entrepreneur.com

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Key Ideas

The lesson we all got to learn from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Throughout history, some individuals got to play bigger roles than others. Among them, Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that the success of a cause depends directly on the involvement of the people who joined it.

The lesson learned from the movie 'Kim Man-bok'

According to the main character's behaviour, one should used other means of negotiation besides persuasion, which is, undoubtedly, of high importance. For instance, why not try using the very language of the counterparts, if possible. It can lead to unexpectedly good results.

The lesson learned from Buddha

Buddha's belief that anybody can changed is a powerful tool in the hands of good coaches. Having trust in people's ability to change can prove to be way more effective than believing that they can't.

The lesson learned from Peter Drucker

The one known as the 'father of modern management', Peter Drucker, came to the conclusion that the more one charges for providing others with his advice, the more the advice is valuable. So, if he could do it, maybe it is indeed worth giving this idea a chance.

The lesson learned from Theodore Roosevelt

According to Theodore Roosevelt's famous quote, individuals are interested into working with others who show that they care. This idea proves to be true over and over again, in all the aspects of life.

The lesson learned from Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela taught us what is maybe one of the most valuable management lessons: one does not need to use authority in order to lead effectively. Instead, getting to know your people and finding out what their motivations are can prove way more efficient in the long run.

The lesson learned from Max Planck

The German theoretical physicist once stated that one's perception of the things changes how things really are. Therefore, choosing to have a good influence on your people, as a manager, will most certainly have better results than having a negative attitude and mind-set.

The lesson learned from Winston Churchill

The great Winston Churchill gave everybody a lesson worth being remembered for generations to come: if you want people to understand you, you might as well communicate by using simple and clear words. The main point is to get your idea transmitted, after all.

The lesson learned from Ann Bradstreet

Known as one of the first internationally recognized writers writing from the New World, Ann Bradstreet enabled the American colonists to express their identity as different as possible from England, even though she was an English woman herself.

The lesson learned from Marcus Aurelius and Cato

Great leaders do not always need words in order to lead. One fine example of this is illustrated by Marcus Aurelius and Cato, who succeeded to inspire individuals by the way they lived their lives, by their deeds.

The lesson learned from Helen Keller

One of the most valuable lessons that humanity can learn is to make the best of what one has. For instance, Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf as a child, succeeded to earn a bachelor's degree, publish books, co-found the ACLU, therefore inspiring an entire world with her amazing story.

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Steve Job's effectiveness boiled down to this:

He inspired team members first so that they were driven to live up to his exacting standards when the situation called for it.

Get this equation backwards and you will wonder why&...

The formula for being an inspirational driver
  • Know your "noble cause." Jobs understood that if teams don’t find their work meaningful, they perceive challenging directives from a leader as arbitrary demands rather than a call to sacrifice for a higher purpose.
  • Tell your story early and often. If you can’t weave your ideas into a clear, compelling story, those ideas remain abstract words likely to be forgotten.
  • Push, but within boundaries. Make sure you have a clear end point and time line in mind before you go into "push" mode. Intense work with no clear end in sight is demoralizing.
Learning to communicate effectively

Effective communication is an attainable and deliberately acquired skill set, one that can be learned and practiced over time.

While it’s true that individual attributes can make

Smoke out original though

To become a more effective communicator, you must 'smoke out' original thought. Rather than conforming to the status quo, make a conscious decision to abandon overdone and clichéd material/

Citing tired platitudes might win you a few "cool points" in social media circles, but they will only take you so far if you're truly striving to effectuate change. 

Prepare an impactful delivery

Once you’ve developed a fresh idea, work on organizing your message and polishing your delivery. Think about:

  • How  you will launch a stunning opening and closing line
  • How you will organize your material succinctly so that it is both moving and memorable (perhaps tweetable and repeatable)
  • Compelling details that should be included.
  • Your vocal and non-verbal communication (body language).

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The concept of servant leadership
The actual term for a leader who upends the power pyramid to put others' needs first was introduced by Robert Greenleaf in his influential 1970 essay "The Servant As Leader" in 1970.
The 6 main principles of servant leadership
  1. Empathy. Give trusted co-workers the benefit of the doubt by assuming the good in them. It goes a long way toward instilling loyalty and trust in you from your team.
  2. Awareness. Care deeply about the welfare of the team members. Don't view them only as cogs in a machine.
  3. Building community. Build community where both employees and customers can thrive.
  4. Persuasion. Rely on persuasion rather than coercion to create internal motivation required to complete the task effectively.
  5. Conceptualization. Servant-leading entrepreneurs focus on the big picture and don't get overly distracted by daily operations and short-term goals.
  6. Growth. Care passionately about the personal and professional growth of each member of the team.
Confidence
Confidence

To be a stronger leader, you need to practice self-confidence. If you’re always second-guessing yourself and feeling shy around your coworkers, they won’t follow you.

Conf...

Creativity

Charismatic leaders think outside the box and aren’t afraid to push the limits.

While others may see this kind of push as risky, these leaders are the ones leading the way and driving innovation. When a problem arises, leaders don’t see only the difficulties. Instead, they rise to the challenge and see it as an opportunity. In business, this creativity can lead to powerful change and transformation, which can inspire and motivate others.

Vision

"Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.” - Simon Sinek 

Because leaders value innovation, they are focused on the future and how they can improve it. They have a dream and direction that motivates and inspires others. 

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Make Your Enemies Into Allies

Pointing out others’ mistakes rarely encourages them to change their behavior, and it certainly doesn’t help them learn anything. People aren’t driven by reason, but by emotion; so a public ...

Be The Beacon Your People Need

Nelson Mandela was lauded as a courageous leader -- even when he was truly terrified. Like the time he astonished his bodyguard by calmly reading a newspaper while the plane he was flying on had engine failure.

Mandela himself, however, later confessed in private that he’d been truly terrified but refused to show it. Mandela knew that courage is a choice, and everyone can be courageous by learning to cope with your anxieties and fears every day. 

Recruit Remarkable Guides

Niccolò Machiavelli held that using advisors well begins with knowing one’s own weaknesses and selecting advisors to offset them. It’s also necessary to know how to solicit advice the right way.

For Machiavelli, that meant showing advisors he valued their honest opinion and would not punish them for giving it. But, at the end of the day, he was the one calling the shots.

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The ABCDs of categorizing decisions
The ABCDs of categorizing decisions
  • Big-bet decisions: infrequent and high-risk - from major acquisitions to game-changing capital investments;
  • Cross-cutting decisions: frequent and high-risk - think pricin...
Approaching big bet decisions
  • Appoint an executive sponsor to work with a project lead to frame important decisions for senior leaders to weigh in on;
  • Break things down (with decision meetings at each stage), and connect them up.
  • Focuses on debating the solution (instead of endlessly elaborating the problem) and gather the right people.
  • Move faster without losing commitment: get comfortable living with imperfect data and being clear about what “good enough” looks like.
Approaching cross-cutting decisions
  • Identify decisions that involve a cross-cutting group of leaders, and work with the stakeholders of each to agree on what the main steps in the process entail.
  • Work through a set of real-life scenarios to pressure-test the system in collaboration with the people who will be running the process.
  • Limit the number of decision-making bodies, and clarify for each its mandate, standing membership, roles etc.
  • Create shared objectives, metrics, and collaboration targets.

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Connect with people emotionally

If you want to intrigue and influence people, you have to get their dopamine pumping.

A great way to do that is by having excellent conversation starters handy:What was the...

Be emotionally curious

Become genuinely interested in other people. A great way to do this is to ask them open-ended questions.

Everyone wants to be liked, loved and accepted. When you fulfill that need for others, you are perceived as being influential.

Use high-powered body language

When you manifest powerful body language, you are seen as more influential. 

The head is held high, the arms are loose, the shoulders are set back and the chest is out. Confident body language not only affects the way others see you but also the way you see yourself. 

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Be the last to speak

This way, you'll be able to hear your team’s true thoughts, which you can to use to inform the opinion you yourself deliver at the end of the conversation.

As a leader, if you speak f...

Shut down outside distractions

A key part of being a good listener is showing the speaker that he or she has your undivided attention. Close your laptop and put away your phone.

This gives those speakers the confidence to express themselves fully without feeling that they’re imposing on your time.

Mind your body language

7 percent of a message is conveyed through words. Body language plays a major role in how we communicate and how we listen.

When you’re listening, then, be aware of what your body language is saying to the speaker. Unfold your arms and be open to what this person has to say.

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