Wednesday, January 20, 2016

5 Career Lessons from Martin Luther King, Jr.

While we're still considering the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we can also reflect on his words and mission and apply them to our professional lives.

Here are 5 career lessons one can take from Martin Luther King, Jr.:

1. "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." Our work choices should reflect a desire to uplift and bring benefit to everyone and everything and we should strive to do this work with excellence.

2. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" Work choices that are primarily about making a lot of money and acquiring a lot of possessions ultimately are unsatisfying and bring little benefits to others or yourself (other than material). The greatest satisfaction comes from doing work that benefits others.

3. "The time is always right to do what is right." If you find that your work does not benefit others or yourself then it is time for change. The time is now to do work that provides you with meaning and provides some service to others. 

4. "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Sometimes we need to take a step in our career without the ability to see the whole picture. We need to trust ourselves, our strengths, and our vision for how we can utilize our skills to do work that matters.

5. "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." One who would be a leader must learn to work with others and help bring mutual understanding and benefit to a situation.

Whatever it is that we find ourselves doing now we can apply the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Whatever your life's work is, do it well."

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