Today is the holiday in the United States in which we acknowledge and celebrate the life and service of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his passionately held vision to create a world that works for all – regardless of ethnicity, class, or spiritual persuasion.  He is, indeed, a supreme example of a Creator in action (as Kathy Haskin points out in her response to the last blog entry).  He was a Creator, a Challenger and a Coach. (To view videos explaining all three roles, please do to the video vault on the TED* website.)

Every Martin Luther King day, I read and/or listen to at least one of his speeches or sermons (for they are, historically, one-and-the-same).  Today, my wife and I read Letter from a Birmingham Jail.  I was also struck by political cartoonist, Stuart Carlson’s drawing and quote from King:

  • “We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace.”

This quote is but one example of how King worked from a Creator Orientation encouraging others to shift their focus from what they don’t want, to envisioning the outcome they want to create. In his Letter, he speaks to another shift from:

  • “a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

As a Creator, he also was a master in using “Dynamic Tension.”  His “I Have a Dream” speech is a classic example of setting up the tension between the envisioned outcome, describing current reality, and calling for people to take baby steps to move toward manifesting the vision.

If you want to study the life and example of a Creator in action, I can think of no better example than that of Martin Luther King, Jr.