A Famous Leader Martin Luther King Jr


From the famous leaders in history, Martin Luther King Jr. can be described as a teacher. He is a leader who is known for his leadership qualities and traits. From his leadership styles, leaders of today can learn so much from him. The major lessons are that a leader should have full commitment to his cause, should disrupt the status quo in order to necessitate change, should have a dream/ vision and communicate it as well as do it, should not underestimate low level employees, should know the why, and involve everyone. From these lessons to current leaders, Luther can be argued to be a teacher. An effective leader is the one who influences his followers to do what they are told, agree to do it, and want to do it(Betof, 2009). Wanting to do what the followers are told is the most challenging aspect of leadership that requires a leader to be a teacher.

As a teacher, Luther knew that he had to make his followers understand the overall vision of the movement. He emphasized on a greater vision that was clear to all his followers. He was a master of crafting vision in his followers. His ideas were initially considered a dream that could never be true and as a result he was ridiculed and discouraged. However, as a teacher Luther knew that he had to help all his followers learn new habits, values, and attitudes. This was achieved by disrupting the norm and the status quo. Many people were used to the way things were and thus could only agree to change after learning new values and attitudes. He also had to help people see the challenges they were facing and learn new ways of changing things. They had to learn to see the opportunity.

Considering the different styles of a teacher-leader, Luther can be described as a shaman. This is a leader who uses personal power to influence others. When combined with unusual gifts like is the case for Luther, a shaman becomes charismatic (Betof, 2009). He is shown as a leader who had the commitment, power, and energy to organize the people around him.  


Betof, E. (2009). Leaders as teachers: Unlock the teaching potential of your company’s best and brightest. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.