Monday, January 21, 2013

How Great Leaders Lead in Chatoic Times

Fulfilling the Dream Dr. Martin Luther King
As I watched the 2013 presidential inauguration of President Barrack Hussein Obama, I was just as amazed and full of hope and amazement as I was when he was elected the first time in 2009. Although some of the euphoria of being the first African American president wasn’t as big of an issue as the first inauguration, it was historic and exciting non-the-less. Hard to imagine but it was just 50 years ago that African Americans were involved in sit-ins and non-violent demonstrations so African Americans could have the right to have full citizenship of every other American. It was just 50 years ago that African Americans did not have the right to vote, the right to use public facilities and attend public schools, an African American is now being voted in for his second term. Who would have thought it possible in this life time?

Comparing Leaders who lead in Difficult and Chaotic Times

President Obama providing leadership during difficult times
Similar to Dr. Martin Luther King, President Obama had to lead in difficult times. Dr. King led in a time when the country was going through a turbulent political, social and economic upheaval. Not only were African Americans demanding equal rights as citizens of this country, college students across the country were demanding the end to Vietnam war. There was a social revolution as for gay citizens of this country and a push to overthrow the conservative and what some Americans saw as an oppressive society and government.

Leading in Chaos 50 Years Later

Fast forward 50 years later and the country is still going through a political, social and economic upheaval. African Americans as well as citizens in states where Republicans want to keep control, are forced to stay in long lines and endure unnecessarily long f0rms to vote, gay citizens are demanding their rights to be citizens and the country’s economy in a downward spiral. As the old adage goes, the more things change, the more the stay the same. The United States has been at war since 2011 in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But it seems the right leaders are born at the right place and the right time.

How Both Leaders Led Effectively in difficult Times

  • Both had to compromise their views and differences for the benefit of the people at large
  • Both had to galvanize a cross section of people to gain support for their policies
  • Both leaders gave their followers hope for a better future
  • Both leaders engaged the heart by stirring up the people and creating excitement
  • Both leaders used their high values to see above the current situation
  • Both leaders dealt with the hard issues head on.
  • Both leaders had great people on their teams to help them with their cause
As John C. Maxwell states, “Everything rises and falls on Leadership.” President Obama and Martin Luther King had to use extraordinary leadership skills and personal leadership values to deal with situations at difficult times. During those times, there were no definite or easy answers to the problems the situations posed and there was no unity by from the government or the American people. Both leaders in times were the American citizens and the government were polarized on the issues. But as great leaders do, the provide a vision. Repeat the vision and stay the course.
Would like your feedback and comments on today’s blog. Do you think there are any similarities between now and when Dr. King lead the non violent movement in the 60s?

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