A post by Steve Geske from 2011
“Don’t look at my finger. Look at the moon!”
A recent experiment in animal intelligence revealed that dogs are in some ways, smarter than chimpanzees. You can point to something (like the moon) and the dog is intelligent to look at what you are pointing to. A chimpanzee will merely look at your finger.
On this day when, as a nation, we remember the life, the work and the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., it is tempting to look at the greatness of this man. To stop there, however, I believe would be missing the point of his life. This man is important not only for who he was to our nation but also for what he pointed to. I believe the essence of what he pointed to was the truth that we are all the same and worthy of love, dignity and respect. Every individual matters. Every individual can make a difference in our world.
The leader in me also goes beyond what he was pointing to; and considers the act of pointing itself. Here is the full richness of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The courage of a leader to courageously stand up and say what he sees. Not only could this man see the barbed wire of racism in this nation, he could see beyond the barbed wire to a better world, a better nation, and a better person in each of us.
Friedman, in his Introduction talks about the need for leaders to get up in front of those they lead and give an “I have a dream” speech. Giving voice to a vision – that’s the challenge before us as leaders. That’s looking beyond ourselves to the vision of what could be ahead. What’s your dream as a leader? And to whom do you need to tell it?