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44 Retweetable #MLK Quotes

mlkJust imagine if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had Twitter or other social networking applications at his disposal, his message would have been even more world changing.  He was known as one of the best orators of his day and one of the top in the history of the country.  The exponential impact of his sound bites and oratory skills would have been extremely powerful with a tool like Twitter.

I believe we take for granted the fact that our message, story, voice and thoughts can literally be globally shared at our leisure and by the push of a button.  This year in the United States we set aside Monday, January 16th. to honor the life of a civil rights leader, pastor and social justice martyr.  MLK positively impacted the US and the world in so many ways, I think it’s great the US has an official holiday in his honor.

Last year, my wife and I were in Atlanta during the MLK Holiday. We visited the Atlanta Memorial and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church that Dr. King pastored. This summer we took our sons and visited the MLK  Memorial at the National Mall in Washington DC and stood at the very place he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

This year I’m sharing 44 of Dr. King’s memorable quotes that could have easily  been tweets. 44 in remembrance of 44 years ago he sacrificed his life so that we could dream. Not only are they tweetable (at 140 characters or less), they are all short enough to be retweetable (122 characters or less).  Quotes can have such power, as a matter of fact I used a number of Dr. King’s quotes to illustrate some power points in my book.

44 Retweetable #MLK Quotes

  • 1. Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or darkness of destructive selfishness. #MLK
  • 2. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. #MLK
  • 3. To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. #MLK
  • 4. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. #MLK
  • 5. I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. #MLK
  • 6. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. #MLK
  • 7. The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. #MLK
  • 8. We are not makers of history. We are made by history. #MLK
  • 9. We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. #MLK
  • 10. We must face the sad fact that Sunday morning when we stand 2 sing, we stand in the most segregated hour in America. #MLK
  • 11. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. #MLK
  • 12. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. #MLK
  • 13. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” #MLK
  • 14. The measure of a man isn’t whr he stands in moments of comfort, but whr he stands @ times of challenge & controversy. #MLK
  • 15. If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. #MLK
  • 16. Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.  #MLK
  • 17. We must use time creatively — and forever realize that the time is always hope to do great things. #MLK
  • 18. The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be.  #MLK
  • 19. The time is always right to do what is right. #MLK
  • 20. I have a dream my 4 little children will 1 day liv in a nation whr they will not B judged by the color of their skin. #MLK
  • 21. Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. #MLK
  • 22. Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. #MLK
  • 23. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. #MLK
  • 24. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. #MLK
  • 25. When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. #MLK
  • 26. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. #MLK
  • 27. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. #MLK
  • 28. Lightning makes no sound until it strikes. #MLK
  • 29. There is no gain without struggle. #MLK
  • 30. A right delayed is a right denied. #MLK
  • 31. It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me; that’s pretty important. #MLK
  • 32. If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation. #MLK
  • 33. One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong. #MLK
  • 34. Quietly endure, silently suffer and patiently wait. #MLK
  • 35. Hate destroys the hater… #MLK
  • 36. True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. #MLK
  • 37. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. #MLK
  • 38. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. #MLK
  • 39. Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. #MLK
  • 40. We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. #MLK
  • 41. Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge (power), religion gives man wisdom (control). #MLK
  • 42. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. #MLK
  • 43. Seeing is not always believing. #MLK
  • 44. I Have A Dream! #MLK

There are so many more tremendous quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  These are just 44 retweetable quotes that have stood out to me over the years.  Please share your favorites from the above list or any other #MLK quotes that you like.  If you can share them in 120 characters or less, please do so. This will allow them to be retweetable.

Happy #MLK Holiday!  Please take a few moments on #MLK Holiday to share some quotes, watch a speech, serve in the community, attend the parade, talk to your family about his impact over dinner, communicate to your team that you value the holiday and what Dr. King stood for…  Do something!

5 Things Leaders Should Do Daily

This evening I had a friend of mine send me a text and ask me: What are 5 things leaders should do daily? I thought it was a great question so I answered very quickly in text like fashion. See my response in the text exchange below.

5 things

 

14 Ways To Increase Your Leadership Capacity In 2014

2014 1

Don’t you just love the lists of how to do this and how to do that. As 2014 is upon us, our love for the “Top 10 Lists” will only increase. The reason we love these lists is due to the fact that in this day and age we have developed the mindset that says,”Lay out the path, show me the tools and give me a step by step list.”

The inner driving force behind our interest in these types of lists is a deep inner desire to improve. We want to do things different, we want to think different and we want to be different, as long as the end result means growth. Especially in the early months of a new year. Consistent growth is that critical component that propels us down the road of success.

You want another list? Well here it goes:

Below is a straight to the point list of how leaders can increase their leadership capacity in 2014.

14 To Increase Your Leadership Capacity In 2014

  • 1. Truly Embrace The Team Concept: There is no “I” in team and teamwork makes the dream work.
  • 2. Don’t Play It Safe: Be willing to take some risks.  Your risks can be calculated or not, either way you need to get off the shores of playing it safe.
  • 3. Give Credit & Take Blame:  Give credit where credit is due and be willing to look in the mirror and say, “My Bad” or “It’s My Fault!”
  • 4. Don’t Be A Yes Man or Yes Woman:  Be willing to step up and challenge things when they need to be challenged.  This can be the process of leading-up or leading-down.
  • 5. Don’t Lose Your Cool:  Remember the 3C’s in all situations – Cool, Calm & Collected.
  • 6. Empower Your Team:  Release your team to do their job. Don’t be a micromanager.
  • 7. Minimize Meetings:  Reduce the number of meetings, the length of meetings, the necessity of meetings and the list of who needs to attend the meetings.
  • 8. Get To Know Your Team Members On A Personal Level:  Know what’s going on in the lives of your team members outside of work.  Know their interests, their children’s interests… To know is to care.
  • 9. Take Time To Develop Your Team Members: Leadership development isn’t a system but rather an on-going act of moving people from where they are to where they need to be. If you want your overall leadership capacity to increase, you must increase the capacity of those around you.  Leadership development isn’t optional, it’s a necessity.
  • 10. Surround Yourself With The Best: Be willing to hire people that may be smarter, sharper, more opinionated and maybe even all around better leaders than you are. Empower and release those people to strengthen your team and compliment your leadership.
  • 11. Shh Listen For A Change:  Don’t be the person who is always talking – Shh, Be Quiet and Listen for a change.
  • 12. Ask The Difficult Questions:  This is where candid evaluation/assessment of everything will make the leader and the team better.  Ask questions like:  Are the individuals that I have on my team making me better?  Am I a my way or the highway leader?  Are we going in the right direction?  Who on my team got us here, but won’t get us there?  Am I making those around me better personally and professionally?  Am I open to receive candid feedback?  If my position, role, title or formal authority was removed would those around me still be willing to follow?  The list of questions goes on and on.  Ask the tough questions and embrace the tough answers.
  • 13. Rest: Rest, Replenish and Re-charge. All batteries need to be re-charged. Your body needs rest, your brain needs rest and you need rest. “He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.” ~Benjamin Franklin
  • 14. Brand: Recognize and understand that you are a brand, you have a personal brand and your personal brand affects your organizational brand. Embrace your brand, position your brand and have the self-awareness to know how your brand is viewed. Remember, you are not the only one defining your brand, your brand is also being defined by others. How do the people that work for you and the people that you work for view you? How do people inside and outside your organization view your organization? How does your competition view you? These questions are all real and all important in the branding conversation. Like it or not, brand is important… period. Organizations and leaders will never maximize their potential for success without having a strong brand.

2014 is your year… Ring in the New Year expecting to be successful, expecting to win and expecting to make a difference. #Expectant

How Micromanagers, Control Freaks and Insecure Leaders Kill Their Organizations

ceativity killer 2Creativity is a key ingredient to a successful, thriving and growing organization. Unfortunately some Micromanagers, Control Freaks and Insecure Leaders Kill Their Organizations and the creative spirit without even realizing it.

Micromanagers take the dynamics of creativity off the table. Their negative and counterproductive process goes a little something like this: Team member tries something new, micromanager watches over their shoulder, questions them and doesn’t give the team members ideas any credibility. Team member gets frustrated and stops thinking outside the box, trying new things and stops leading in general – thus killing creativity.

“The most common mistake I see leaders make is to attempt to lead through control. As counterintuitive as it might seem, in order to gain influence you must surrender control.” ~Mike Myatt

It’s really a sad case when a leader wants a thriving, vibrant, creative organization and they don’t have the self-awareness to know that their insecure control freak nature is the bottleneck. The best position a leader can find themselves in is, “out in front and out of the way.” The only way a leader can remain out in front is to continuously get out of the way and let their team members lead.

In order to foster organizational success and a spirit of creativity, leaders must allow their team members to try new things, chart new courses and sail new waters. If a leader truly wants this to work, they must be willing to get out of the way and be okay with some failures and fumbles. Successes and failures should never be overlooked; however its important to applaud the thought and process of trying. Freedom, flexibility, solutions, ideas, risks, opinions, opportunity, experiment, failure… are all words that help foster creativity and effectually lead to success.

In order for creativity and a culture of winning to permeate through an organization, the insecurity of the micromanager must bid farewell.

15 Traits Of Great Leadership

HackingLeadership_box

Today’s guest post comes from my man @MikeMyatt, who in my opinion is one of the top if not the top Leadership Experts in the world. He is straight up brilliant and has been a great mentor to me personally. This week, Mike just released his brand new leadership gem Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly.” It’s awesome, go grab a copy now.

15 Traits Of Great Leadership

Today’s post will make the case for leadership development. While much has been written about the traits and characteristics that form great leaders, the truth is that leaders come in many different varieties…there is no one-size-fits-all formula for leadership. That said, all good leaders possess certain core qualities, and great leaders simply develop said core qualities to a higher level than their peers. Put simply, a leader’s shelf life will be equal to their ability to leverage their leadership traits through solid execution, and influencing their constituencies in alignment with the corporate vision with values. If you want to insure longevity and success as a leader, focus on developing your leadership acumen by prioritizing your efforts on the following list of 15 leadership traits:

  • 1. Integrity: Always do the right thing regardless of sentiment, and never compromise your core values. If you cannot build trust and engender confidence with your stakeholders you cannot succeed. No amount of talent can overcome illicit, immoral or otherwise ill-advised actions. A leader void of integrity will not survive over the long-haul.
  • 2. Excellent Decision Making Skills: As a leader you will live or die by the quality of the decisions you make. The practical reality of leadership is that you are often only as good as your last decision. When you’re the leader good decisioning is expected, poor decisioning won’t be tolerated, and great decisioning will set you apart from the masses.
  • 3. Ability to Focus: If you cannot focus, you cannot perform at the level necessary to remain in leadership for very long. The ability to do nothing more than understand and lock-on to priorities will place you in the top 10% of all leaders.
  • 4. Leveraging Experience: Inexperience, a lack of maturity, needing to be the center of attention, not recognizing limitations, a lack of judgment, an inferior knowledge base, or any number of other common mistakes made by rookie leaders can cause your house of cards to fall. If you don’t have the experience personally, hire it, contract it, but by all means acquire it. Great leaders surround themselves with tier-one talent, and the best advisors money can buy. They don’t make uniformed or ill-advised decisions in a vacuum.
  • 5. Command Presence: Great leaders possess a strong presence and bearing. They are unflappable individuals that never let you see them sweat (unless of course it serves a purpose). Everything about how they carry themselves messages that they have a clear vision and are capable of leading in accordance with said vision.
  • 6. Embracing Change: Great leaders have a strong bias to action. They don’t rest upon past accomplishments, and are always seeking to improve through change and innovation. In today’s fast paced and competitive environment, those leaders who don’t openly embrace change will often be shown the door prior to the expiration of their initial employment contract.
  • 7. Brand Champions: Great leaders understand branding at every level. They seek to build not only a dominant corporate brand, but also to leverage a strong personal brand. Leaders that are not well branded on a personal basis, or who let their corporate brand fall into decline will not survive.
  • 8. Boundless Energy: Great leaders have a boundless amount of energy. They are positive in their outlook, and their attitude is contagious. A low energy leader is not motivating, convincing, or credible.
  • 9. Subject Matter Expertise: Great leaders have a deep understanding of their subject matter, and a strong orientation toward achievement. Great leaders possess what often appears to be a sixth sense, or an almost instinctive feel for what  needs to occur in order to leverage their knowledge into a competitive advantage.
  • 10. Talent: Great leaders have a nose for talent…They understand how to recruit, develop and deploy talent focusing on applying the best talent to the best opportunities. They also know when it’s time to make changes, and to cut losses as needed.
  • 11. Organizational Acumen: Great leaders know how to engender trust, when and how to share information, and are expert listeners. They develop strong teams an healthy organizational cultures driven to performance by aligned motivations. They understand the power of well thought out, consistent, and clearly articulated vision. They can quickly diagnose whether the team/organization is performing at full potential, delivering on commitments, and whether the team is changing and growing versus just operating.
  • 12. Curiosity: Great leaders possess a powerful motivation to increase their knowledge base and to convert their learning into actionable initiatives. They question, challenge, confront and are never accepting of the status quo. They listen well and are exceptionally intuitive and observant.
  • 13. Intellectual Capacity: Great leaders are also great thinkers…both at the strategic and tactical levels. They are quick on their feet, and know how to get to the root of an issue faster than anyone else. I’ve never met a great leader who wasn’t extremely discerning.
  • 14. Big Thinkers: Regardless of the physical or geographical boundaries of their current role, great CEOs think big and add a zero. Limited thinking results in limited results. Whether global thinking is applied to capital formation, supply-chain issues, business development, strategic partnering, distribution or any number of other areas, those leaders who don’t grasp the importance of thinking globally will not endure. Great leaders are externally oriented, hungry for knowledge of the world, and adept at connecting developments and spotting patterns.
  • 15. Never Quit: Great leaders refuse to lose…They have an insatiable appetite for accomplishment and results. While they may reengineer or change direction, they will never lose sight of the end game.

Mike Myatt is America’s Top CEO Coach, recognized by Thinkers50 as a global authority on the topic of leadership, a Forbes leadership columnist, author of Leadership Matters,  CEO at N2growth, and is a Senior Fellow at the Gordian Institute. His new book, Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly, is available on Amazon.

Great Leaders Are Willing To Challenge The King and Great Kings Want To Be Challenged

the kingIn all my years of leadership/followership and in my role as a leadership consultant, I have come to realize that Great Leaders and Great Leadership Cultures are willing to Challenge “The King.” I’m not talking about challenging KIng James to a game of 1 on 1 after you eat a triple steak stack from Taco Bell. I’m referring to “The King” as the Big Boss, The CEO, The Department Chair, Team Leader, The Senior Pastor, The President. Any leader that’s making the decisions or has the title of “The King” in your situation.

What generally happens in an organization is that “The King” develops a style, a system and a reputation for the types of decisions that they will make and the type of feedback that they will take. BTW- that “King” can also be a “Lady.” Those that are closest to “The King” begin to accept those tendencies as the law and over-time challengeable actions, decisions and offenses go un-challenged. The excuses range from,”that’s just how so and so is, to you know they will not even entertain that thought or you can’t say that they will get upset the Kings apple cart.” This type of situation and culture is not good for “The Kings” nor the leaders that follow them.

“The King” ends up leading from an isolated rarely challenged clueless bubble that’s not going to bust because it’s not being poked, prodded and challenged. Those that follow “The King” will sit around and talk about what “The King” is or is not doing and the decisions “The King” is or is not making, which only leads to more problems for “The King” and the organization.

Great Leaders Challenge “The King” which makes them better leaders and him a better King. If an organization is being led by a King that is not willing to be challenged by those around him, the organization is being set up for failure. If leaders are not willing to challenge “The King” they will never be great leaders. If an organizational culture does not embrace challenge at all levels, it’s time to change the culture. Great Leaders Challenge “The King” and Great Kings create a culture where all things, decisions and people will be challenged — Even “The King.”

Let’s take a look at LeBron James aka King James situation last night in their tight game versus their conference foe from the East, the Indiana Pacers. These two teams are the top in the East and are basically fighting for home court advantage. The game was tight, the Heat were losing, tempers were flaring and LeBron James went off on Mario Chalmers after a turnover and leaving Paul George wide open for a shot. The King continued to yell and scream at Chalmers all the way through the time out, Chalmers didn’t take LeBron’s antics laying down he instead challenged The King. Chalmers gave it back to him and let him know that he was wrong.

Initially Chalmers challenging The King didn’t go so well as King James jumped off of the bench and charged Chalmers (as if to fight him) and had to be restrained by his teammates. Chalmers, one of the smallest guys on the team, wasn’t threatened and continued to challenge The King. The great thing about the ending to this story is that The King apologized and said “My Bad, I was wrong.” (see the video of the LeBron James and Mario Chalmers exchange below) More often than not, the King will respect those that are willing to challenge them, their throne, their decisions and their actions. This should always be done in an appropriate, consistent and respectful manner.

If an organizational culture allows for an absolute, imperious, or overbearing control to permeate through their organization, they are setting their organization up to become a dictatorship and ultimately a failure. If an organization and The King allow for challenges and are willing to admit they are wrong, that’s an organization that’s setting themselves up for success, an organization that’s setting themselves up as a championship organization.

Great Leaders Challenge “The King” and Great Kings Want To Be Challenged

The Most Crucial Skills Necessary For Tomorrow’s Leaders

This video will answer the question: What is the single most important skill that leaders of the future will need?

Top 5 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

Often times with leadership we hear the warm and fuzzies or the great success stories. There are so many great books and tools at the disposal of leaders that growth and competency should be inevitable.  The challenge with that theory is it’s rendered “not always true” because of the simple fact that leadership deals with human beings.  Anytime you are dealing with people things are never that simplistic.

A key understanding to leadership placement and roles is this: people hire people, who hire people, who hire people. Somewhere within those three generations, there are people placed in roles of leadership that they are not capable of.  In my tenure working as a Deputy Prison Warden, before being promoted to Warden, I worked for a leader that definitely should not have been in her role.  She literally destroyed her staff and destroyed her team.  Not only did she destroy them, she didn’t have the self-awareness to make the necessary adjustments.

Unfortunately the “Leadership Destroyers” were not isolated to my experience, if you live long enough and work for enough people, there is a good chance that you will work for one of these destroyers.  To help identify how these leaders or managers destroy their teams, I have identified 5 ways.

5 Ways Leaders Destroy Their Teams

  • 1. My Way Or The Highway (MWOH):  Everyone has an opinion and often times people have thoughts, ideas and suggestions that can be helpful to those that are in charge.  MWOH is fueled by the insecurity of the Leadership Destroyer.  MWOH can create an environment of control, but not an environment of healthy success.  Listen to your team, involve your team, learn from your team and embrace the reality that the collective sum is much better than the Big-Headed MWOH Leader.
  • 2. All About The Numbers: The numbers do matter, the bottom line is important and if it doesn’t make dolla$ it doesn’t make sense.  In business, ministry or non-profit work, it’s important to measure things as it’s a great barometer for success.  Where numbers become a problem is when the Leadership Destroyer focuses on the numbers, bottom line and measurables so much that they forget about their team of people who are making those numbers happen.  They lose sight of the “how” because they are so focused on the “what.”  Number matter, but people matter more.  Focus on creating a healthy team and healthy numbers will be a natural bi-product.
  • 3. Talk But Don’t Listen: No one can get a word in or have an opinion because the Leadership Destroyer is always talking.  Not only are they always talking, they never listen. If people are not heard, they will cease to say the things that matter.  Shh (be quiet) Listen!
  • 4. Change Things For The Sake Of Changing Things: Change is good and sometimes necessary to create forward momentum.  The Leadership Destroyer takes this to another level by changing things just to let you know that they’re the boss.  They are unwilling to receive feedback or go back to what worked, even if their change isn’t working.  I heard a great thought from OSU Football Coach Mike Gundy from his press conference this week.  OSU is ranked #2 and they are rolling like a well-oiled machine.  Mike Gundy said, (paraphrasing) “I try to change things up a bit, just to justify my existence.  My team will come to me and say I think we need to stick to XYZ and this is why.  Often times what they are saying makes perfect sense and I change it back.” It’s important to survey the impact, timing and necessity of change.
  • 5. They Just Don’t Care:  The quickest way to destroy a team is to not care about the players on the team.  Team members know the difference between the fake stuff and the genuine care and concern for the individual players and the collective team.  Leadership Destroyers care more about their title, role, corner office and the fact that they have arrived than they do their team.  One of the things that the inmates used to say when I was a Warden in regards to leadership and life is this, “It’s All About Missouri!”  In other words, Missouri is the Show-Me State.  I’ll close with the words of John Maxwell, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
What Do You Think?  Share your thoughts and experiences with either of these 5 Ways.

Organizations Need To Let Leaders Run Their Race

secretariat 2I am consistently having conversations with friends, colleagues and clients where the topic of discussion will often times be around “the inability to lead.” The inability isn’t always due to a lack of leadership, but more often than not it’s the lack of freedom to lead. I just recently had a conversation with a Senior Leader of a very large organization about this very problem. This guy is a strong, gifted, visionary leader who is being hamstrung by his leadership oversight team. Not only is the this crippling him, it’s setting their organization back years.

Just like the famous triple crown horse Secretariat needed to be freed up to run, not only run, but run the race that only he could run. That’s the same situation for leaders being held back in organizations around the country. Leaders want to be free, they want to run and they want to lead.

Organizations and organizational leaders have an opportunity and responsibility to free up their race horses to run and to lead. These races must be within the boundaries of the established organization; however it should be encouraged that they push those boundaries to the limit.

The potential for greatness exists at all levels throughout most organizations and a major hindrance is control and an unwillingness to let the horses run their race. Leaders are looking for a License To Lead.

The famous quote from the movie Secretariat that speaks to this subject is this, “Let him run his race.”

If you want your organization to thrive, get rid of the donkeys and let your horses and stallions run their race.

Explore, Dream, Discover

travelAt this moment I’m cruising at an altitude of about 36,000 feet on my way to Tampa, Florida. For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you know that I find myself at 36,000 feet quite often. Traveling is a process, a process in exploring, dreaming, thinking, going, seeing, discovering, arriving and making things happen.

As I travel today, I was reminded of a quote from Mark Twain about travel… May this be motivation for your day. Remember, life is a journey.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

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