Guest Post: Ryan Laverty , CEO at SpeakOut
The bright morning sun rose over the small town of Selma, Alabama and warmed the masses on the Pettus Bridge. Marching arm in arm and heart in heart, the protestors were fighting for racial, social, and political equality.
The crowd had attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery and had been turned around twice, neither time managing to cross the Pettus Bridge. Each time they managed to reattempt the march despite the threat of physical harm. The success of this stand for equality is attributed to the crowd’s famous leader:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King championed movements, marches, and speeches all across America. He is accredited with greatly advancing the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Dr. King’s incredible legacy, however, came from the insurmountable support he garnered.
Dr. King’s legacy came from his ability to influence others.
Dr. King’s success was a combination of great leadership, communication, and public speaking skills. He inspired his associates and followers with passionate speeches and led them through the promotion of a shared cause.
The powerful lesson in the case of Dr. King is that every march, sit in, and demonstration was performed by a collective rather than an individual.
Nobody succeeds alone.
One of the biggest misconceptions about success is that it results from a great deal of unaccompanied work. While this may be partly true, a huge portion of success is attributed to communicating with and influencing others.
Every career field is enhanced through skilled communication. For politicians, teachers, and executives this is rather obvious. Even professionals like freelance designers and programmers, whose jobs are dominated by individual work, must be able to negotiate with clients, work with peers, and ask for help from associates.
Every substantial action requires an interaction.
When I founded Learn to SpeakOut, I knew one-on-one coaching would require effective communication skills. What I did not consider was that every additional client, opportunity, and incremental amount of progress was the direct result of asking for a connection or piece of advice.
From financial decisions to company promotion, an outstretched hand and an open mind go a long way.
The biggest contributor to success is undoubtedly the individual, but the importance of the ability to communicate effectively and influence others is often overlooked. Every substantial action requires an interaction because nobody succeeds alone.