Effective Leadership

Being an effective leader means learning who you are and what you stand for, and having the courage to act on your values. Moral leadership is quite similar to the concept of servant leadership in that the emphasis and the reward are based in doing for others. A leader serves using an ethical foundation which is then adapted and acted on by followers within the organization. Moral leadership describes how leaders make decisions according to beliefs about right and wrong. A system of morals, or beliefs, is also very personal to leaders.

DRP. Martin Luther King Jar. , displayed courage and moral leadership; Martin Luther King Jar. Was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the eldest son of Martin Luther King Sir. , a Baptist minister and Alberta Williams King. King attended local segregated public school. He entered Morehouse College at the age of 15 and graduated with a bachelors degree in sociology in 1948. After graduating with honors from Crower Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania in 1951, he went to Boston University where he earned a doctoral degree in systematic theology in 1955.

Throughout his education, King was exposed to influences that related Christian theology to the struggles of oppressed people. DRP. Martin Luther King Jar. , operated on moral leadership, distinguishing right from wrong and doing right, seeking the just, the honest, the good, and the right conduct in achieving goals and fulfilling purpose. In May of 1963, Martin Luther King Jar. , and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff escalated anti-segregation marches in Birmingham by encouraging teenagers and school children to join.

Hundreds of singing children filled the streets of downtown Birmingham, angering Sheriff Bull Connors, who sent police officers with attack dogs and firefighters with high- pressure water hoses against the marchers. Scenes of young protesters being attacked by dogs and pinned against buildings by torrents of water from fire hoses were shown in newspapers and television around the world. During the demonstration, King was arrested and sent to jail.

He wrote a letter from his jail cell to local clergymen who had criticized him for creating disorder in the city. His “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” which argued that individuals had the moral right and responsibility to disobey unjust laws, was widely read at the time and added to King’s standing as a moral leader.