When I think of transformational leaders, the first person to come to mind is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I may have been born more than 20 years after he gave his powerful ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech in 1963, but the grainy recording of his tremendous voice is forever ingrained in my memory. I get goosebumps every time I hear these words in my head.
Dr. King was a visionary who connected to people on a deeper level…he connected to their sense of self, to their identity, and ultimately, to their humanity. I am truly in awe of leaders like him, for he inspired a mountain of followers around a stance that challenges our very nature as human beings: peace as a reaction to violence.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” – MLK, Strength to Love, 1963