Ethical leadership is about the quality of a leader to fight for the ethics which is applicable for everybody. This is really shown in the life of Martin Luther King Jr., whose says that "In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives" "There are two types of laws: there are just laws and there are unjust laws...What is the difference between the two...An unjust law is a man-made code that is out of harmony with the moral law. The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy." (quietspaces.com n.pag)
His purpose in life was to give the true meaning of freedom and he had taken the path of non-violence to achieve it. He had studied the life great leader Mahatma Gandhi, who also achieved freedom for his nation through the means of nonviolence. With this ethical means he fought against discrimination and racialism particularly, towards the black or the Negro community in United States. He fought for their rights by telling the suppressing community the true meaning of freedom that is equality in all human being without the discrimination in color of skin.
Martin Luther King even while he was a student he was known for his leadership qualities and was rewarded several times. He was elected president of the senior class and delivered the valedictory address; he won the Pearl Plafker Award for the most outstanding student; and he received the J. Lewis Crozer fellowship for graduate study at a university of his choice. Dr. King was awarded honorary degrees from a number of colleges and universities in the United States and several other foreign countries (Brown et al. n.pag 2006).
Martin Luther King also followed his father's and grandfather's steps and entered the Christian ministry. He was ordained in February 1948 at the age of nineteen at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia and became Assistant Pastor of Ebenezer. Soon after the completion of his studies at Boston University, he accepted the call of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama (Brown et al. n.pag 2006).
Psychological research has discovered the following positive personality variables associated with strong leadership includes warmth, friendliness, self-confidence, ability to stand up to pressure. These researches have also found that the absence of the negative qualities of arrogance, hostility, boastfulness, egotism, and passivity are correlated with positive leadership (Romney, 1996). If we look into the life of King, it can be said that he is among the top leaders of the world. He was always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race as a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, in 1955 led by King lasted for 382 days and was among ones in which he was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse. King was arrested during this campaign, which ended with a United States Supreme Court decision