- Dr. King’s mission was equality.
- His vision was expressed beautifully in his “I Have a Dream” speech.
- And his values were nonviolence.
As a leader, Dr. King successfully rallied people to the mission of equality. The values of nonviolence fueled the operational engine that propelled the people of his organization to persevere by focusing on achieving the vision of nonviolent revolution. Once volunteers rallied to the cause, Dr. King focused them on the organization’s values—so much so that his marchers faced violent and murderous opposition in the most hostile environments, yet they persevered in carrying out the organization’s mission with the values of nonviolence.
Dr. King embodied three-dimensional leadership. He keenly understood the mission, and passionately articulated a vision to achieve it. King stated his mission and vision so clearly that it was easy for people to follow him, to see what he was talking about, and to believe that if he could do it, they also could. He organized people and resources around a set of values that they consistently lived and applied. King helped his followers negotiate the hostile context as a team that often locked arms together and sang “We Shall Overcome!” The America we live in today is in large part the fruition of the vision—the Dream, which was the focus of Dr. King’s life.
Are you following Dr. King’s example and embodying the mission, vision, and values of your organization?