What Is a Leader?

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Professor Manis
FYS 101.050
Research Paper
19 November 2012

What is a leader? What skills and attributes does it take to lead? Is someone born a leader or are they transformed into a leader? These are frequently asked questions by people all around the world on a daily basis. What comes to mind when thinking about a leader? Who comes to mind when the word “leader” or “leadership” is brought up? Leadership is holding the position of a leader; someone who guides or directs a group. A leader is someone that many others can look up to and count on when the tough times roll in, when things start falling apart, or the world is on its hands and knees begging for help. One of the most widely known and respected leaders of America happens to be Martin Luther King, Jr., otherwise known as MLK. Many people who were alive during his time to the people of today know about the actions of Martin Luther King Jr.; but do the people know how MLK became the great leader that he was?

Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor and an active civil rights activist who later became the leader of many organizations and campaigns during the Civil Rights Movement. MLK became a leader through his words and actions of non-violence and Christian gospel ideas. His theory of non-violence grabbed the attention of many people and gave him the opportunity to lead several campaigns and groups throughout the South. King became the primary spokesman of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, the leader of the Birmingham campaign in 1963, made one of his most famous speeches during the March on Washington in 1963, and led the African-Americans to the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. King not only used his theory of non-violence and his religious background to lead the people in the South, but he attained many leadership attributes that were needed to lead the people. One attribute that King possessed was he knew how...
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