You Can't Lead People Unless You Love People

You can't lead people unless you love people. You can't save people unless you serve people.

- Tavis Smiley

I really enjoyed this interview today with Jon Stewart asking Tavis Smiley about his new book The Death of a King: The Real Story of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year.

In it he says this,

Whatever happened to the notion of love in our public discourse? And that is not a laughable concept. King put love in the center of the public square. Gandhi put love in the public square. Bobby Kennedy put love in the public square... Let me ask you this. Can you name 3 people in leadership in this country who you believe love you enough to die for you?

Pretty deep topic for the Daily Show! And it was recorded on September 11th no less, 13 years after the day that changed that date forever.

Tavis's comments remind me of one of my favorite quotes from Gandhi, "There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for."

I love what Tavis is pointing at and the reason he wrote his book. He says in the interview that he doesn't want us to remember King as a black man or a martyr. He wants us to remember him as the kind of leader that all of us can be, a leader who speaks the truth and works to make the world better for everyone. He led with love and we can lead with love.

I couldn't agree with Tavis more. Serving is the only way to save others (and ourselves for that matter).

And the only leaders I admire, the ones with pictures up on my wall, are the ones that truly love others.

That's the kind of leader I hope to be.