MARTIN LUTHER KING JR (1929-1968)
Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the son of a Baptist minister. He grew up in his father’s footsteps and got his bachelor of divinity in 1951 and his doctorate in 1955. Early in December, 1955, he became the leader of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States. In 1957, he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. On August 28, 1963, he delivered “I have a dream”, his famous speech, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination, to 250,000 people. Martin was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure. At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize.
SAMUEL MOORE WALTON (1918-1992)
DIFFERENCES: SAM WALTON – TEAM-ORIENTED LEADERSHIP:
According to Huey (1992), Sam was an active user of reward power. He relied heavily on the intangible awards, indicating that “nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They are absolutely free-and worth a fortune”. MARTIN – AUTHORITATIVE LEADERSHIP:
Martin’s ability in mobilizing a nation towards a vision clearly proved his authoritative leadership. In his famous speech “I have a dream”, he expressed his vision and explained the path to this freedom. He was speaking with authority, he knew what the future could look like, and he needed his followers to understand how he wanted to achieve this vision. During his speech, he exemplified the “come with me” characteristic associated with
* In my own opinion, it is hard to say which one is the more effective leader, for they are in different fields and dedicated to the world in different ways. However, Sam appears to be the more effective leader to me. He found ways to connect with the associates, seeking and listening to others’ opinions (employees and customers), sharing his success with associates and providing them with kinds of rewards. He modestly blended in with the whole team, erased the gap between executive and employees, and dared to make his own path of success. If it was not for these great characteristics and tactics, there wouldn’t be a Sam Walton who has the ability to change the philosophy of the American retail business establishment.