Soundview Executive Book Summaries

MLK and The Power of a Great Speech

For those of you logging on to see one of my usual Monday morning book review columns, we’ve had a slight change of schedule. I’ll provide you with a detailed review of a great new Soundview Executive Book Summary on Wednesday, a one-time only offer. I’m preempting the review today in order to take a moment to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While Dr. King will be referenced and discussed in detail in countless broadcasts and Web posts today, I thought it would be important to write about one aspect of his life and character that should influence every business executive.

The obvious skill that made Dr. King unforgettable was his ability to craft and deliver a brilliant speech. Dr. King combined a preacher’s passion with a scholar’s intelligence and a master wordsmith’s talent. He had an understanding of pace, volume and intensity that blessed his speeches with all the crescendos and virtuosity of a great symphony. While generations to come will listen with wonder to the might of his “I Have a Dream” speech, it was one of dozens of powerful performances Dr. King delivered in his quest to peacefully shake off the chains of segregation and civil injustice.

There are so many business book authors that attempt to craft a perfect, memorable quote. Throughout his participation in the struggle for civil rights, Dr. King, time and again, connected with his audience or readers through a perfectly fashioned thought. Here are five memorable quotes:

1. Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.

2. Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

3. I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

4. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.

5. When people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.

I hope you find inspiration in the above and take a moment today to remember the life and legacy of Dr. King.


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