Leading others requires not just a clear vision but the ability to communicate it persuasively. Leadership means more than just the ability to point to the best direction – others must be inspired to follow. This goes beyond possessing charisma – it means applying its power to bring about change that comes not just from the leaders’ head but also from their heart. The following video – of a man who spent much of his life in his brother’s shadow – is a compelling example that shows how much the world lost when the spotlight was so tragically cut off for him.

The speech  – click here to read the full text – came during Robert Kennedy’s presidential candidacy in the US 1968 Presidential election – a year of tumult and upheaval in America, with riots in inner cities and at the height of the civil rights campaign era. Demonstrations against the Vietnam War, also at its height, were widespread on American campuses: President Johnson’s popularity was slipping rapidly.

Robert Kennedy’s campaign platform was characterised by a desire for progress: racial and economic justice, and social improvement were key themes. Another crucial element was to engage the young, who he saw as the future of a reinvigorated American society. [There are fascinating parallels in this inspiration approach with Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, whose presidential campaign acceptance speech you can watch online here. ]

This particular speech came the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Tragically, less than two months later, Robert Kennedy was himself assassinated. Though he did not live to implement his vision, his power to communicate it remains compelling 40 years on.

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