Last summer I had the pleasure of taking a trip which included a drive through 19 states in 10 days. It was a considerable amount of driving but a wonderful encounter with history and nostalgia. Each city and town seemed to boast a special person or event that helped shape our country. One thing that really impressed me was the how many times I found myself on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in so many different cities and towns.
There are Martin Luther King Jr Blvds in Dallas, Chicago and Chapel Hill. There were other streets and highways named after him in other cities that I wish I had counted them all. At one point on the trip, I recall seeing another sign for Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and I briefly could not remember what city or state I was driving through at the time.
Just what qualities did this man possess that made so many considered him great? Even if a person didn't believe in what he was preaching, there was no denying his great influence. Why? To get the answer I did not have to look far. Martin Luther King Jr himself knew the answer - just have a dream or a new direction and funnel all your energy to getting that dream. With a dream or a vision anyone can learn to be a leader.
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.
( TE Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom")
Everyone can learn to lead by discovering the power that lies within each one of us. We can make a difference by being prepared when the call to lead comes. Becoming a leader starts with acknowledging and learning about five qualities we all possess to some extent. Once we take a deep inventory about ourselves and get to know ourselves, the key is practicing and growing these five qualities.
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