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Inspiring Business Leaders with Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 2024, marks the 95th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. Today is also the third Monday in January, and since November 2, 1983, we recognize this day each year as a national holiday in his honor. While some businesses are closed and others are open today, all business leaders have an opportunity to reflect on the lessons in leadership that Dr. King gave us to be better in our roles every day.

A recent editorial published at from Denise Woodard, Founder/CEO of Partake Foods highlighted how the teachings of Dr. King are reflected in her principles as an entrepreneur and business leader and give her guidance to serve a greater purpose. The four examples she highlights offer an opportunity for all business leaders to reflect on the role they play in the broader community they serve and how they can strengthen their leadership.

Whether that lesson is to “Lead by Example” by demonstrating your values in action, not just words, or to articulate your goals by “Dreaming out Loud,” or simply working to “Make the Change” that Dr. King and many others worked so tirelessly for. The lessons from his legacy can be guidepost for today.

The one lesson Woodard highlighted that felt most relevant to today was the lesson that Business Leader can and should work to “Open Doors and Remove Barriers” for others. By taking actionable steps in our own organizations, in our communities and in our regions business leaders can help build opportunities for all to succeed and in turn guide better success for their organizations and communities.

Whether today is a holiday away from work for you or not, I hope that we all can take a few minutes to reflect on the lessons Dr. King offered us, not just in his words, but in his work and we can celebrate and remember the impact he made for so many on this day.