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Martin Luther King Jr: Are leaders born or made?

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Meet the mentors who inspired Martin Luther King Jr to lead the civil rights movement - against racial injustice and inequality.

In every heroic story, the focus is always on the person who sweeps in and saves the day, barely do we remember the actions of those behind the scene or the people whose empowerment/inputs gradually surmounted to the formation of our iconic hero’s rise to greatness.

Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr - a global icon whose contribution and achievement during the civil rights movement championed Inclusion while he fought against racial inequalities and bigotry. Dr King dreamt of a world free of prejudice and bias at all levels of our society in one of his famous speeches on Aug 28, 1963

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

Dr Martin Luther King Jr, organised protest matches, led civil disobedience nonviolent activism that would cause the US to change its constitutional laws to be inclusive of “people of colour”. When Dr King spoke, crowds were ignited with a passion to act, even a lifeless being would come alive (according to Maya Angelou, an activist, author, poet ). He inspired millions of people during the civil rights movement and still does today through his legacy. He supported fights against women's rights. His impact and contribution ( ) towards Inclusion and diversity is celebrated not just within the black community but around the world and used as a role model. It can easily be forgotten that great leaders like Dr King were once young, unsure or unaware of their potentials until they came in contact with a mentor or guidance, who saw in them what they didn’t see in themselves.

In celebration of Martin Luther King day, we want to spotlight senior leaders who recognised Dr King's leadership potential and also played key advisory roles in his success story. - because it takes a village!

“A mentor is a person or friend who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors”

Do you think that Martin Luther King would have become a leader of the mass movement, inspired millions of people all over the world, left a great legacy that’ll impact had he not met any of these experienced leaders? (that was a rhetorical question). If Dr King had no exposure to successful leaders who openly shared their knowledge or advised him, do you think he would have achieved such greatness by himself without valuable mentoring relationships? We dont believe so. The ovation may not be loud for these senior leaders who empowered Dr Martin Lurther King jr through his journey but his life’s story and achievement would be incomplete without the influence of such mentoring relationships.

It's the accumulation of experiences, conversations, interactions we have within communities and people that influence who we are and the kind of life we lead and our value creation on a professional or personal level. It is important for aspiring leaders to surround themselves with great minds, senior leaders who model success (who/what they hope to become).

At BLIX we empower future leaders through knowledge exchange events and free advisory sessions with senior leaders from leading global organizations . They are ready to share their experiences, knowledge and lighten your burden either in startup or career. You are welcome to book a session with them. Ask any question, they’re readily accessible.

Leaders are made up of a lot of things but being fully formed at birth isn’t one of them.

What are your thoughts? Add your comments below.

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