LEADER’S FIELD GUIDE
To a certified project manager, everything looks like a project plan. You know it’s bad when even your grocery list has a beta test phase! It was Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, who pointed out that Martin Luther King, Jr. is known not for his I Have a Plan speech, but for his I have a Dream speech. Almost sixty years ago, King’s I Have a Dream speech echoed off the Lincoln Memorial before an audience of almost 250,000. It wasn’t until gospel singer Mahalia Jackson hollered halfway through, “Tell them about the dream!” that King’s rhythmic words of inspiration were improvised.
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. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, explained the importance of “the dream” in his TedTalk. Many people fail to start with a good why. He describes the Golden Circle. The outer ring is WHAT, and everyone knows what they do. The inner circle is HOW, and most everyone knows how to do what they do. The center of the Golden Circle is WHY, and very few people know why they do what they are doing. Think of WHAT as results, HOW as process, and WHY as purpose.
By the way, [Martin Luther King, Jr.] gave the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan” speech. – Simon Sinek
So, what do dreams have over plans?
- Vision: Plans drive toward results, but dreams create a vision of what is not yet reality. Plans cannot address the culture or the reason why something is important.
- Belief: Plans drive toward next steps, but dreams challenge us to believe in something new. Spontaneous change occurs when the mind believes in a new truth.
- Impact: Plans drive toward small details, but dreams demand big thinking. Dreams mobilize movements with the power to create cultural shifts and traditional norms.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s purpose was to animate Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. One hundred years after the US Government claimed that “all persons held as slaves…shall be free,” King watched over President Lyndon Johnson’s shoulder as Lyndon signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (to end segregation in public places and ban employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin).
King’s inspiring phrase “I have a dream…” was not part of the speech he and his close advisors so carefully crafted into the wee hours of that hot August morning. His improvisation came from the sincere belief in his descriptive vision which will continue to impact people around the world for years to come.
Source: I Have a Dream Speech (Archive; Full Video, 17:28; History Video, 4:58, Referenced Bible Verses: Amos 5:24, Isaiah 40:4-5, Psalm 30:5, Galatians 3:28); TED Radio Hour Podcast: Inspire To Action (47:54); Simon Sinek’s TedTalk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action (17:49); Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Archive, History)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She hosts global masterminds, called Synergy Groups, for REALLY BUSY Christians leading with powerful confidence and humble hearts. She works with high-performing leaders focused on organizational effectiveness by refining strategy, inspiring teams, and delighting clients. Michelle specializes in the areas of information technology, project management, franchise management, and business as mission. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 22 years.
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SYNERGY GROUP MEETING
Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching. ~Hebrews 10:24, 25
Welcome (~5 Minutes)
At the beginning of each meeting:
- Open in prayer to get focused.
- Welcome new guest(s) to the Synergy Group.
- Provide short introductions (end with guests).
- Share a brief summary of high-points from the Leader’s Field Guide (above).
Leadership Development (~15 Minutes | 00:05)
Be prepared to share from professional experience and ask follow-up questions.
- Describe a grand vision or new belief you have for yourself, your business, or your family.
- What is the impact your work has on the marketplace?
Spiritual Growth (~15 Minutes | 00:20)
Apply Biblically-based and Christ-centered principles to your work and responsibilities.
- Read Amos 5:24: But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (NIV)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. referenced this verse in his I Have a Dream speech by saying, “We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” What role do Christians have in the face of injustice?
- Without discussing politics, brainstorm about the advice Jesus might give Christian voters?
Report, Praise, Prayer, & Goal (~15 Minutes | 00:35)
Let us know how you did on your goal from last week. Discuss recent successes and current business needs. Share what you are grateful for and request insight, collaboration, or help with accountability. Include a goal for next week based on your discoveries today! Prayer is an important part of seeking him first (Matthew 6:33). Some groups share a list after each meeting and update one another throughout the week! Pray together now and for each other during the week.
Networking (~5 Minutes | 00:50)
Share announcements and make professional connections. You are invited to connect via LinkedIn and offline, too!
This upcoming week, strengthen your relationship by reading about, praying with, and listening to God.
- Read Isaiah 40:4-5: Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (NIV)
- Describe a situation that seemed/seems like a valley or mountain.
- What would need to change if the valley was raised or the mountain made low?
- Spend some time in prayer.
- Where in the Bible has the glory of the Lord been revealed?
- Where in your life has the glory of the Lord been revealed?
- How could you celebrate that?
- Review the other two verses referenced in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech: Psalm 30:5 and Galatians 3:28.
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