15. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Deep Selflessness

  1. Al Gini1 and
  2. Ronald M. Green2

Published Online: 25 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118551653.ch15

10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character

10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character

How to Cite

Gini, A. and Green, R. M. (2013) Martin Luther King, Jr.: Deep Selflessness, in 10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118551653.ch15

Author Information

  1. 1

    Loyola University Chicago, USA

  2. 2

    Dartmouth College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2013

Book Series:

  1. Foundations of Business Ethics

Book Series Editors:

  1. W. Michael Hoffman and
  2. Robert E. Frederick

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470672303

Online ISBN: 9781118551653

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Keywords:

  • leadership;
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.;
  • selflessness

Summary

Genuine leaders display deep selflessness. Their focus remains fixed on concepts, issues, or communities beyond themselves. This chapter explains this through the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. He had a cause and a dream. But it was not just his cause or his dream. It was about his people, all people, God's people. It was his job to be the messenger and the interpreter, both of the dream and of the cause. It was his job to exhort others to pursue that dream and cause. It was his job to live a life dedicated to that dream and cause – a life for others. The biblical text on which King's last sermon drew suggests the powerful truth that the greatest leaders may never witness the personal fulfillment of their dreams. They always risk looking on from the distant mountaintop. That image symbolizes the deep selflessness that great leadership requires.