A Lesson in Communications from Martin Luther King, Jr.


Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech.

On Monday, Americans will mark Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday by taking some time to remember the legacy of a man who changed the course of U.S. history. MLK's influence on the civil rights movement cannot be understated, and his words continue to resonate and enlighten nearly fifty years after he was  assassinated.

King's leadership and desire to bring people together was evident in the way he delivered his message, and all communicators can derive valuable lessons from his eloquence. In honor of his legacy, here are some of his most memorable remarks on leadership, communication and progress:

  • "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
  • "People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other."
  • "When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative."
  • "Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness."
  • "The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one."
  • "All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem."
  • "Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better."

Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene




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