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What Would MLK Do?

It takes a great leader to motivate people to stand up for what they believe in; to be active and proactive even when no one is watching.

Ever wonder how Martin Luther King Jr. would lead today?

Or what great lessons behind the famous words of MLK Jr. you could draw on?

16 MLK Jr. Quotes to Inspire the Leader in You

Here are 16 inspirational and courageous quotes from MLK you can use to become a better individual and leader.

king glass chess piece front and center on chess board

1. Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Each of us has a responsibility to give back to our communities and society in general. This means being involved and making sacrifices, not just donating money from the comfort of an armchair.

2. When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, do not use moderation. – Martin Luther King Jr.

We need leaders who are confident enough in themselves that criticism or their past mistakes don’t stop them from moving forward with courage and conviction.

3. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Stand up for what you believe in, even when it’s not popular or convenient. Encourage others to do the same.

4. If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Being successful doesn’t have to mean accomplishing massive goals. Doing good work with calm determination is just as admirable as grand achievements, no matter how big or small the task might be.

Leadership isn’t always about achieving tremendous feats; it’s often about doing what needs to be done right now without complaining or making excuses.

5. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Martin Luther King Jr.

You don’t have to be a leader to stand up for what you believe in. Everyone has opinions, and it’s essential to make them heard.

6. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. – Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s also important to make a difference, not just for yourself but also for others. We’re all connected, and our choices affect each other – good or bad.

7. What are you doing for others? – Martin Luther King Jr.

It all comes down to this: think about what you can do for yourself and others, not just yourself alone.

8. That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing. – Martin Luther King Jr.

This is a straightforward concept that’s easy to forget when facing difficult choices or dangerous situations. Sometimes the right thing isn’t always the easiest choice, but it’s almost always the wisest one. Be smart and do what’s right.

9. I came to the conclusion that there is an existential moment in your life when you must decide to speak for yourself; nobody else can speak for you. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t wait for others to speak up for you because they might not be there when you need them most. Speak your mind and influence those around you with your opinions.

Leadership isn’t just about being confident in yourself and what you believe in. It’s about empowering others and inspiring them to speak up and do the same.

10. We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Everyone learns differently, and we’re all trying to find our path. But the only way we’ll get where we need to go is if we all work together.

Effective leadership means bringing everyone’s ideas to the table and exploring every avenue until you find the solution that works best for everyone.

11. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King Jr.

It may be difficult, and the climb may seem impossible, but you don’t have to see it all to take that first step.

If you don’t try something out of fear or doubt, nothing good will ever come of it – at least not for you. It’s hard to accomplish much if you don’t believe in yourself.

12. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Leaders don’t do what everyone tells them to do; they inspire people to work towards a shared goal.

A true leader can see the best in others, not just themselves.

13. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. – Martin Luther King Jr.

No man is an island; we all depend on each other. If you hurt yourself, it affects everyone around you. Remember, your actions also have consequences for others – good or bad.

14. 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. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Do a good job, no matter what it is. A great effort’s not enough – leave a mark on the world that inspires others to do good work as well. Lead by example if you want your life and actions to mean something.

15. If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Having a dream and being empowered to pursue it is what makes the world go around. It’s essential to have something you’re working toward, and it’ll keep you going when times get tough. Take bold and decisive action if the situation calls for it.

16. If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t settle. Keep moving forward even when you’re scared. If you stay positive and work hard towards your goal, you’ll eventually get there.

Make a dream come true

Whether you’re looking for words of inspiration or lessons on leadership, MLK Jr.’s thoughts are valuable.

So, no matter if your dream is for yourself, your family, or your greater community, point yourself in the right direction, keep going, and you’ll be there before you know it.

With these words of wisdom from one of the most outstanding leaders in history, we hope that whatever your dream is, you’re able to take action and make it happen.

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