It started with a dream. Everyone knows the famous line from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech in 1963, a line that even 56 years later, evokes hope, courage and bravery. The road to civil rights in America started with a dream, but the path itself was forged by more than hopes and wishes; it was paved by action…by masses of people.

Action is the driving force of any change, the vital ingredient that makes dreams a reality.  In honor of the man who brought his hopes to the national stage and created a ripple effect that changed the fabric of our nation, we decided to tap into the intergenerational insight our community gets to collect. 

We asked…

“How do you move others into action?”

 …to emerging leaders from The Herb It Forward Foundation, our client for an annual life + leadership skills retreat and an incredible organization that provides renewable college scholarships to students committed to bettering the world. 

Here’s what they shared:

Be the first one to dance. If someone beats you to it, stand up next.

“It takes courage, depth and empathy to be able to connect with others, and inspire and motivate them. I once watched a video in my psychology class in which a man was the only one dancing at a [large] event. Not until he was able to get one follower did a big group [begin] dancing in the grass. I like to think of that when I inspire others. It only takes one person to positively impact…others.”

-Daniella Pombo, Class of 2021, Loyola University Chicago

Have the courage to be the first one to do something. Want to volunteer, but none of your friends are game?  Do it by yourself, and draw others in as you go.  

Rally Fellow Dreamers

“Listening and discussing are big tools to inspire change or get things done. Involving people in the process allows them to own part of the idea so they become passionate about it, too, and will want to move with you.”

-Ashley Walker, Class of 2021, University of Scranton 

Get vocal.  Starting sharing the things that matter to you, the things that get your heart racing.  Listen to what other people have to say, and see where you have shared goals.  Be ready and willing to collaborate to make big things happen. 

Be Willing to Help Wherever Needed

“At events, I never sign up to work but instead place myself wherever need extra hands.”

Kathleen Connelly, Class of 2018, Stockton University 

“[To inspire others you have to ] Serve! The Greatest Leaders were the Biggest Servers! Initially, you serve to learn the importance [of working toward a common goal and grow a passion for serving. In the midst of this you develop the key characteristics of a leader such as: humility, discipline, hard work, teamwork, selflessness, integrity, faithfulness, honor and more.  It all starts behind the scenes, [great leaders] are completely comfortable with taking the backseat.

-Amira Warrick, Class of 2014, West Chester University; Class of 2017, Drexel University 

Being a leader who makes big changes happen doesn’t mean you get to stand in the spotlight.  Learn to play different roles, and find one that lets your strengths shine through and lets others play a part. 

How do YOU move others into action?  Tell us in the comments here.