Greetings. Today is the Martin Luther King holiday here in the U.S. and many schools and workplaces are closed in observance of Dr. King's life and legacy in creating a more just, caring, open, and hopeful society. A society that values more fully the real genius in everyone and the power of diversity when viewed as more than simply a set of words and quotas in a press release, on a web page, or in an annual report. While he wasn't focused specifically on the challenges we face today in our companies and organizations, many of his words should cause us to think–in more compelling ways–about our true potential as individuals, leaders, businesses, and communities.
And here are a few quotes that might strike at the heart of your vision, values, and hopes for the future…
"If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
"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."
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
"The time is always right to do what is right."
We win in business and in life when we see the brilliance in everyone around us. And when we pause to recall those who gave their energy and lives to the values we all hold dear.