Still A Lot To Learn From Martin Luther King Jr.

MLKWhether or not you celebrate MLK Day (it’s a Temkin Group holiday), today is a great opportunity to reflect on some of Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiring messages. I find that his words of change, personal accountability, and love hold true across many settings, including how we run our organizations.

This year, I’ve decided to highlight (without any additional commentary) one of his quotes that fits well in The Year of Emotion:

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

Here’s what I’ve written about MLK in the past:

Last year, I shared four of his quotes that I find to be particularly meaningful:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

The time is always right to do what is right.

In 2014, I shared some of his quotes that discuss empathy with a connection to our four customer experience core competencies and added a question to think about after each quote:

  • Purposeful Leadership: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” How willing are your leaders to trade-off short-term results for longer gains in customer experience and loyalty?
  • Compelling Brand Values: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Is your brand clear, strong and well understood enough by employees so that it empowers them to do the right thing, even if it means breaking some rules.
  • Employee Engagement: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Are you focused enough on making sure that employees understand and are committed to the goals and direction of your organization?
  • Customer Connectedness: “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” Are you treating important customers well enough so that they are more than just satisfied, and become raving fans?

In 2013, I honored the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech from August 28, 1963, by sharing a word cloud from the speech.

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 11.53.18 AM

The bottom line: We can all learn from MLK.

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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