Democratic Leadership Style of Martin Luther King

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“With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day”. (Luther, 1963) Leaders are not always born to lead and expect to have good effect only. Some leaders can be good and some can be bad, King Luther was one of the phenomenal leaders who have influenced many people in a good way. He was born in January 15, 1926 Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. He became the spokesperson for the civil right movement. Promoting nonviolent tactics, king made a successful movement in ending of the legal segregation of African Americans. He became the head of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, until the year he was assassinated in 1954 (David L. Lewis, 2019). He is very inspiring because he was one of the pioneering leaders of the movement against racial inequality. He gave hope not only to the African-Americans but to all the societal groups belonging to the unfavorable end of inequality spectrums.

Martin Luther was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi; he also believed that anything can be acquired nonviolently. He was born to be leader, having all the traits of a good leader. He was not only powerful but he was intelligent, confident and also carried charismatic leadership quality. He is also one of the very few leaders who were successful without using any weapons. Luther is well known for his speeches; He had power of words and was able to influence and inspire people through words. He was someone who gave hope when African-Americans lost the hope of them being freed against legal segregation. He was the one who encouraged the people when his movements were unsuccessful. He was humble and religious leader who fought for freedom without any violence. There are several leadership skills of Luther, the skills which made him one of the transformational leaders.

Following are the skills which mastered him to become one of the greatest of all time: Empathy: Luther always made a point to spent time with his people and his representatives. He knew that in order to have a successful result, he must know what his followers and people feels. He made a point to listen to their feelings. He even marched along with the protesters across the bridge in Selma, Alabama. A lifelong scholar: Luther finished his PhD in theology from Boston University in 1955. He even published a book “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change”, the method of Gandhi. He has delivered several inspiring speeches and in those speeches he has made a lot of references to many historical philosophers.

This shows that he was desiderated in learning many things. Speaking up: A great leader is expected to have conversations even during challenging situations and as expected Luther was a person who did that. He was jailed many times during the racial movement. Luther’s house was bombed during the movement, despite these difficult situations, he pushed people to make the movement. Communication skills: Luther was able to achieve his goals because of his divine speaking skills. He had unique power of public speaking and in negotiating and also engaging himself in conversation.

Power of speaking is very well known to many of us. Luther had this power of speaking, where. He could change people’s mind through words. He was very encouraging and motivating through his words but also through his actions. We know that a person who explains and expresses his feelings have more chance to reach his desire faster than a person who doesn’t expresses his feelings at all. Speaking is a new language to win someone’s heart; likewise Luther was able to express what he felt which was probably same to all the feelings of his followers. They knew he was their voice, someone who felt the same. Same thinking means same mind and also means the same person, the people and Luther thought as one and acted as one which made them successful. This was all because of his power of speaking.

We all know and have heard that “Great leaders are born, not made”, this states that a great leader is destined and are born with all the good leader traits; they are someone who don’t need any kind of leadership training. Thomas Carlyle, who was a historian and had a major influence on the “great man” theory, stated that, all the effective leaders are born with unusually inspiring right characteristics (Cherry, 2018). Luther defines this theory of leadership; he was someone who was gifted with all the good leader traits. He was the leader who found his own way to become a great leader through hard work and full dedication towards his goals which was beneficial to many people. He put the goal as number one priority and didn’t even stop the movement even when his families were having bad time. He had charismatic power of leadership which made his followers fall for him under any circumstances.

Democratic leadership style is something which has played a vital role throughout my life. As a student we have been doing a lot of group assignments, discussions and presentations where we have shared the tasks among ourselves and always appreciated everyone’s ideas. The flow of ideas was free among us and we always made a point to encourage and motivate each group member.


  1. Cherry, K. (2018, November 24). Very well mind. Retrieved from verywellmind.com:
  2. https://www.verywellind.com/the-great-man-theory-of-leadership-2795311
  3. David L. Lewis, C. C. (2019, march 31). BRITANNICA. Retrieved from Britannica.com: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Luther-King-Jr Lewis, D. L., & Cardon, C. (2019). Martin Luther King, Jr. Brtannica, inc.
  4. Thompson, S. (2018, january 12). Inc. Retrieved from Inc.com: https://www.inc.com/sonia-thompson/3-essential-martin-luther-king-jr-leadership-skills-all-good-leaders-should-master.html
  5. Luther, M. (1963). ‘I have a dream’ jobs and freedom. washington D.C, U.S: colour printers.

Cite this paper

Democratic Leadership Style of Martin Luther King. (2021, Feb 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/democratic-leadership-style-of-martin-luther-king/

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