Posted by: Jamen Koos
Dr. Martin Luther King, HP, IBM, Jr., leadership, MLK
I want to appreciate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today in a way which I expect he is rarely appreciated.
The man lived and died in an attempt to share his strong belief that prejudice is a weakness. He believed—as is the truth—that prejudice stems from ignorance, or insufficient knowledge. For those unfamiliar, most denotations of the word ‘prejudice’ describe it as “an unfavorable opinion formed beforehand, without knowledge, thought, or reason” Dictionary.com In the majority of MLK Jr.’s speeches, he referred to prejudice in the context of race. I sincerely appreciate the profound way in which MLK Jr. influenced a large portion of the American public to stop making uninformed decisions, to stop passing judgment before the time was appropriate to do so, to attempt to reason and bring understanding in to our dealings with fellow humans. However, I favor and agree with MLK Jr.’s assertions on the topic of prejudice in many more ways than in the context of human race or ethnicity.
What I appreciate the most about the majority of my customers at HP is their strong ability to reason. It is because of their tendency to make very informed decisions, to gather sufficient knowledge before making purchase decisions that HP has competition. And the competition has HP. What do I mean? Well, imagine I’m talking to a potential HP customer who has been utilizing IBM servers and software for 20 years. If they acted with prejudice, if they ‘passed judgment’ on HP before gaining sufficient knowledge, I’d likely have very little chance of showing them how my solutions for their business are superior to what they are using today (if, indeed, they are superior). If the potential customer had already made their decision in an uninformed manner, I would be wasting my time and breath to provide them with additional knowledge. I appreciate my customers because they seek to understand, to be informed; their goal is to never make a decision rooted in prejudice. MLK Jr. would have liked my customers.
What’s the moral of the story?
MLK Jr. brought the world closer to existing without ignorant, stupid, short-sighted, and prejudice individuals who pass judgment well before it is appropriate to do so. Many parts of our world today see improved quality of life thanks to MLK Jr’s leadership. The trend of individuals seeking to understand before making a decision or passing judgment is ever increasing in popularity. Let us keep the momentum!