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Robert Kennedy, standing tall

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

On April 4, 1968, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy stepped to the microphone in a poor neighborhood in Indianapolis. He had been scheduled to give a speech there but abandoned those plans and stunned the crowd with the news that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot and killed.

The sheriff had tried to persuade Kennedy to cancel his appearance, saying it was too dangerous to address an African-American crowd. Kennedy refused.

Black people rioted in 100 cities that night but not in Indianapolis.

The lesson: Don’t avoid delivering a difficult message.

— Adapted from “Robert Kennedy: The greatest leadership speech ever made?” Phil Dourado, The Leadership Hub, www.theleadershiphub.com.

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