Many famous thinkers have made an impact on society; however, none as much as Dr. King; a people’s man or Warren Buffet; a businessman. After an in-depth analysis of the thinkers and their contributions one will identify the problems each sought to solve, the solutions each found, and implementation of those solutions.
Moreover, exploration of each thinker’s social, political, and personal environments will show how those factors contributed to their respective creativity. Additionally, a comparison of their unique creative processes, a critique of their ideas, and thoughts of different approaches will come forth through further exploration. Contribution to Society
Martin Luther King, Jr. contributed greatly to society as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. According to The King Center (2011), “During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality than the previous 350 years had produced” (About Dr. King, para.1).
Dr. King led a nonviolent movement during the 1950s and 60s because he believed African Americans should have equality. In 1963, he was an influential figure in the March on Washington, an event that drew in a quarter-million people to march for freedom and jobs. He delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the event and influenced people across the nation to act on civil rights. In 1964, partly because of this event, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which ended racial segregation in the United States. Dr. King is the first non-president to be honored by a national holiday.
He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (The King Center, 2011). Warren Buffett is known as one of the most prosperous investors in the world. He is driven by his initiative and has invested his money is other people’s ideas, inventions, and companies. He is an advocate for the value investing theory, the belief that people should invest in stock valued cheaper than the company’s worth. He changed the way people evaluate and purchase stocks (Net Industries and its Licensors, 2011). However, this is not his only contribution to society.
According to Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, LLC (2011), “one day Warren Buffett will be looked on as the most pivotal person in the philanthropy of the early 21st century. Like Andrew Carnegie in the late 19th century, Buffett will be remembered not just for his own philanthropy, but for his outsized impact on the philanthropy of others” (Warren Buffett on Philanthropy, para. 1).Buffett has pledged to donate 99% of his wealth to charity during his lifetime and after his death (Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, LLC, 2011). Social and Personal Environment
Dr. King was dedicated to the Civil Rights movement because of social and personal factors. He grew up in the South, during a time when segregation was prominent. He was the son of a minister and was taught that he should oppose discrimination. He graduated from high school at the age of 15 and went to work in Connecticut. He was surprised that he could sit or eat wherever he wanted, unlike the south. In 1953, he moved to Alabama and began his ministry at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. During this time segregation was at its height, and he was in a position to speak out for equal rights.
Many people were advocating ending segregation by any means possible, but he believed the best way to promote racial equality was to organize peaceful nonviolent protest. He thought the use of violence would only hinder the efforts of the equal right movement. This theory was proven during the protest in Birmingham. Dr. King was arrested for leading a nonviolent protest. The Birmingham police were dispatched for crowd control and used violent force against the protestors. Despite the violence the protesters did not retaliate. This event was also influential in achieving racial equality in the United States.
Warren Buffett was also greatly impacted by his social and personal environment. At a young age he had the drive and work ethic to make money. He was influenced to by his father who was a stock broker and bought stock at the age of 11. He finished his M.S. in Economics from Columbia Business School where his studied under Benjamin Graham and Phil Fisher. When working at Benjamin Graham’s partnership, he thought the guidelines of investment were too stringent, he felt there were opportunities for higher profits but company guidelines inhibited potential profits.
After leaving Graham partnership, he was involved with 6 partnerships. Warren Buffet went on to organize the sale of his partnerships, ultimately securing his job as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He used his critical thinking skills to build Berkshire Hathaway. One of his abilities is the ability to identify talent and recruitment of talent. Warren Buffet believes that gossiping, lying, breaking agreements, becoming defensive, feeling entitled, and withholding key information slows down the decision making process (Market, 2011). These are the key fundamentals that have made Warren Buffet a success. Problems or Issues
Both Dr. King and Warren Buffett are gifted thinkers, whose ideas have impacted society and been influential in many people’s lives. Dr. King looked at a world that seemed to value “things” over people and did his best to change this. He was not content with his circumstances or those of the African American race but unlike most people, he spoke out to help solve this issue. He worked diligently to eliminate racial inequality in the United States.
Although many people remember Dr. King for his speeches regarding equality for races, he was also an advocate for economic justice and worked to help the impoverished. He believed that a country as powerful as the United States could set the example for the rest of the world (Newsday, 1992).
Warren Buffett is a remarkable businessman who has used a unique strategy of investing in the stock market to establish great wealth. His stock, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the world’s most expensive no matter the market. He saw a problem with the way people invested in the stock market.
Most people looked at the numbers behind the company, like balance sheets, and income statements. He did his investing differently. He looked at the company, not their numbers. He wanted to know what made them superior to their competitors and their corporate leadership. Mr. Buffett changed investments for the better (Kennon, 2011). Solutions and Implementation
Dr. King and Warren Buffet were faced with challenges in their lives, and they had to device creative ideas to overcome these obstacles. Dr. King was working to establish equal rights for people. His solution to this problem was to use his gift for speech and nonviolent acts of protest to influence people to change their views. According to Dr. King, “Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression” (About Dr. King, para.
4). He used this philosophy to convince Congress to establish equal rights legislation. His most notable protests were the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Birmingham campaign, the March on Washington, and the March for Voting Rights (The King Center, 2011). Warren Buffett is best known as a billionaire entrepreneur who has gained his own wealth through strategically investing in the stock market. As mentioned earlier, Warren Buffett’s solution for purchasing stock is to adhere to the value investing theory.
He purchased stock that was valued cheaper than the company’s value on paper. “Buffet also developed what became known as the “white knight” strategy of investing, where he saved certain businesses from being bought out by competitors” ( Buffett, Warren-Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Social and Economic Impact, Chronology: Warren Buffett , para. 1). Both of these strategies have enabled Buffett to have significant influence over many U.S. companies and whole industries (Net Industries and its Licensors, 2011). Buffett’s story proves how the entrepreneurial spirit and hard work can lead to great success. Creative Process
The creative process of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and that of billionaire Warren Buffet are as different as they are similar. Both men are considered dynamic, daring, resourceful, hardworking, and independent, which corresponds with the characteristics of creative people as listed in The Art of Thinking (Ruggiero, 2009). Employment of the creative process was successfully conducted by both men. The difference was what they are best known for.
One dedicated his life to resolving an issue while the other was committed to resolving a problem. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw an injustice in the world, in particular his own country, and became a civil rights activist to address the issue of equal rights. He was a proponent of nonviolence activism, which he pursued at a high personnel cost.
As a result of his actions, he was thrown into jail several times and was assassinated on April 4, 1968 while in Memphis Tennessee supporting black union workers (NAACP, 2011). Billionaire Warren Buffet who is sometimes referred to as America’s favorite super-investor answered the problem for himself on how to make money. This man was not born into wealth but is recognized as a self-made man who is worth more than 47 billion dollars.
He started working at age 11 for a grocery store to save enough money to purchase his first stock. Through determination, trial, and error he learned successfully to invest and shrewdly did to increase his wealth while others suffered loss during times of market collapse (Forbes, 2010). Critique of Ideas
Dr. King took on the biggest challenge this country and the World has ever faced; equality of mankind. His focus was not on changing any laws but changing people; “to make neighbors of enemies and a nation out of divided races” (Garris, 2006, para.
2). His idea of a nonviolent approach to change was monumental to millions of people in America and beyond. With his conservative approach to his mission of equality for mankind he made doors open, people listen, and seats become available to millions of black people. This change may not have happened for decades if it was not for Dr. King’s conservative approach of nonviolence, God, and love. Without a doubt, Dr. King’s ideas were effective, creative, and compelling. Nothing could have been done better.
The third richest man in America, Warren Buffett, has had extraordinary success in investing in America (Bingham, 2011). His success in investing and acquiring stock and holdings in many companies is not from sheer luck but from a consistent approach. Buffett sees a company that is well-managed, has a prudent approach to debt, and has consistent high returns as an excellent investment (Warren Buffett Secrets, n.d.).
His ideal approach to investing has proven to be sound, has made him a wealthy man, and makes him legendary. In addition to his investment approach, Buffett has a sound approach to reducing the current deficit; shared sacrifice (Bingham, 2011).
On August 15, 2011, Buffett is noted as stating, “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice” (Bingham, 2011, para. 2). As a shrewd and intelligent investor, Buffett believes it is time for the super-rich to invest in this country. Conclusion
Both Warren Buffet and Dr. Martin Luther are critical thinkers that used their knowledge and expertise to accomplish their objectives. Each of them used their life experiences and up bringing as a driving force of their goals. Warren Buffet the son of a broker followed his dream of success and focused his energy around business, buying and selling stock. Warren Buffet used the fundamentals of what he learned during college and experience at Benjamin Graham to create a new strategy of investment.
While Warren Buffet was the son of a broker, Dr. Martin Luther King was the son of a preacher. Dr. King used his experiences as a child and prejudice against African Americans to purse equal rights. Dr. King used his power of speech and motivation to change the world. While other groups believed that retaliation was the method to get recognition, Dr. King preached of non-violent demonstrations and understood that retaliation would only fuel the stereotypes of African Americans.
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