Had a late night twitter conversation with @MartinShovel which lead me to his webpage which is packed with excellent material on communication, and more. Real depth, insight and clarity. A rare mix I recommend you check it out.
I was struck by his comments in his last post on outstanding communication and oratory. At the seminar I hosted in Dundee Monday past with Dick and Emily Axelrod, one thing we focused on was Peter Koestenbaum’s Leadership Damond® – exploring his simple, elegant yet deep model. In one exercise, we analysed Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech – looking at it through the lens of the Diamond. This lead to some significant insights into leadership as well as the brilliance of the crafting, and delivery, of this momentous speech.
So, leadership that makes a difference is leadership that communicates. Communicates with simplicity and with passion.
Martin Luther King had not heard of the Diamond! Yet his speech used the tensions between the polarities of vision and reality, ethics and courage. His speech was incredibly courageous, not just in going to Washington. Not just in standing up as a black man in the hallowed ground of American leadership and politics. More than that, it was in having the courage to face reality. And to have the courage to encourage others to face that reality together. And not to allow that reality to lead to depression and despair. Or to aggression and violence. Rather it was courage to have vision, to believe, to have hope, and to inspire hope in others.
A historic speech by a leader who changed things.