Building Consensus with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was not only a great civil rights leader; he also knew a thing or two about leadership.  He once said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”  Building consensus is part of the art of great leadership.

The writer, Katie Morrell, wrote an interesting piece recently entitled “5 Leadership Lessons From Martin Luther King, Jr.”  These lessons parallel the idea of molding consensus.

King emphasized the importance of never underestimating employees, especially those who have lower levels of education and experience.  I have witnessed some of the biggest contributions in dental practices coming from those who start as interns. Wisdom is found in all corners of your practice.

King was fearful before many of his speeches, unsure if he could get his points across effectively.  Yet he kept going, which is what we must also do in the face of the unknown.  If your practice is struggling, find the help you need to move toward solutions instead of feeling trapped by fears.

King was obviously known for shaking up the norm, and when we do this in our organizations, we encourage creativity.  Consider how you can instill an environment that generates new ideas and perspectives.

Please remember that the more engaged your team is, the more they will align with your vision and philosophy.  Consider how King outlined his vision and found ways to involve everyone.  Keep in mind that an involved team aligned with your vision translates into a high performing team.

If you want to fine-tune your leadership approach, look no further than your interpersonal relationships.  As Martin Luther King, Jr. once noted, leaders have to do more than search for consensus, they have to work effectively to create it.

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