“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”

Posted on June 22nd, 2012 in Perspectives on Leadership by John Jensen


My apologies for not having a blog post yesterday, it was quite the busy day in Career & Leadership Development.  But alas, I am here for today’s post!!

I found this picture the other day and wanted to share it with all of you:

When we think of a “servant leader” I can think of a few people from history.  George Washington comes to mind, Gandhi is definitely another, but Martin Luther King Jr. (much like Gandhi) is the epitome of what it means to be a servant leader.  For anyone who is reading this blog for the first time, a servant leader is someone who always has other people’s wellbeing at heart when they do something.  Gandhi led the Indian people through a peaceful revolution against Great Britain to gain independence.  Gandhi didn’t do this because he wanted to become a historical figure, he did it because he saw his people suffering and he knew he needed to do something about it.

Martin Luther King Jr. also saw his people suffering from the unjust laws of segregation, and Dr. King knew it needed to change.  His ability to empower others and articulate a dream and fulfill their ambitions is what made him a leader.

Dr. King followed Gandhi’s philosophy of civil disobedience and non-violence.  He was arrested 16 times during his lifetime, all for standing up against the laws of segregation.  Once he was even arrested for trying to order a sandwich.

The quote that goes with the picture above, Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Is so important to the idea of being a leader.  Obviously, being a leader doesn’t have to involve revolution or social movements, but it certainly requires one to stand up for what they believe in.  Dr. King gave his life for standing up for what he believed in.  We as leaders must be willing to address problems when we see one and be willing to be the ones who try to change it, big or small.   It is so easy to sit back and complain about an issue, but it takes a true leader to stand up and do something about it.


Author’s Note: The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. is a fantastic read for anyone wanting to know more about Dr. King.  I strongly recommend that everybody take a look at it.


Until next time,

John Jensen

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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