Today we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a man who obviously thought long and hard about important things and how to change them so more people could have equal opportunity to pursue their dreams. Dr. King knew his actions were putting him in danger, but he calculated that risk and determined pursuit of this particular cause warranted such action. Thought alone is never enough. Action without thought will not reliably yield desirable results. Pairing thought and action is what moves mountains.
Many firms have set aside Dr. King’s birthday as an official company holiday. I’m proud to say my company falls in that category. As I awoke this morning I casually checked my Twitter stream; nothing unusual about that. But today it seemed to be positively on fire. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed the volume was higher than normal and the quality and deepness of the created and linked-to content was on an elevated level.
I began to wonder about that. Perhaps it was the day itself. MLK day sneaks up on you. Just two weeks after the long holiday break, we get a surprise day off. We have fewer professional responsibilities. And it’s a Monday at that! Much better than a Friday. There is no family gathering expectation, so no spending time prepping, cooking, entertaining or refereeing family conversations. Instead we can relax and reflect. It’s truly a bonus day. Thank you Dr. King for giving us this gift. Perhaps it was the significance of this day that triggered more in depth speculation over what I would have normally seen everyday.
Which brings me back to my theme today. Think; absolutely. Take Action; required. Things will then begin to move.
I purposely left out speech. It could just as easily have been think, speak, then act. The voice is definitely powerful, but one can speak without much thought. Yes, Dr. King moved us to tears many times with his oratory gifts. But as he once said,
A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
Here’s one of my favorite Tweets of the day and it has nothing to do with business or social media or frameworks, roadmaps, predictions about the next iPad or anything else that is of marginal value when measured against the backdrop of Dr. King’s accomplishments. Instead, someone thought, took action, then Tweeted. Something is going to happen.