What Martin Luther King Taught Us About Dealing With Change

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Jan 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 20 is celebrated by many people all around the world.

There are many different things that King has taught us about the way we communicate, empathize, our dedication, and convictions. All of these principles can be viewed from all sorts of angles and applied in many situations, including business.

While organizational change initiatives can be very frightening for some people and are often met with resistance, they are a necessity for contemporary businesses to be able to advance and become successful.

So, here are some things that Martin Luther King Jr. taught us about change that we should remember today

1. Change is constant

The Dr. King showed that change is constant and inevitable. But change did not come easy for him, and he was faced with many difficulties brought about by those changes.

The way change affects you is directly related to your actions and how you take change. You must overlook the fears that you have to be able to advance yourself in the growing, competitive world.

Change is necessary as products and technology advances. It is normal to be afraid of change at first, but you are the only one who can hold yourself back.

If you do not try to accept change, change will crush you. You must accept it with open arms and embrace the opportunity to be different.

2. Roadblocks exist, so go around them

Dr. King also taught us that roadblocks frequently exist, but you should not let them stop you. Yes, this means that you may need to change something else and accept more change, but it is beneficial to you. If you allowed every roadblock to stop you, you would not be in business.

A roadblock may be in the form of something small or it may be something big.

Imagine that you want to launch a new product on a specific day due to its significance and relevance to the product. You learn that, for one reason or another, you cannot launch on this day. You become frustrated and also disappointed. Does this mean you do not launch your product now or do you simply just accept it and launch it on another day?

You are probably going to launch it on another day, so make the launch the best you can. Why? Because if you don’t, you are blocking yourself from increased profits and success.

3. Be willing to do what you ask others to do

This is an important lesson that every leader and manager should take heed of. You must be willing to do yourself what you ask of your employees.

If you expect them to implement a new change then you must also implement that change. Yes, you are a role model to your employees and they will be less resistant and more accepting if they see you doing what you want them to do.

You need to motivate other through the actions of yourself. They will then join in and change will come easier for your department and the company as a whole.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an influential leader who taught us how to accept change because he dealt with roadblocks and change throughout his life but was always able to rise above them. In the end, he accomplished exactly what he was on a mission to do.

We can learn much from Dr. King, but it is most important to remember that the harder you try and the more change you accept, the more successful you will ultimately be.