Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. How can I spend a year exploring leading with bold grace and not pause and highlight the life of Justice Bader Ginsburg? I’m not sure there is anyone who has been a better model of both living and leading with bold grace.
I love it when different things I’m reading or listening to align at the perfect time. This week I’ve been participating in an online summit called Leadership for a Changing World and listened to an interview with Robert E. Quinn, one of my favorite thought leaders.
Create Meaning and Move People
Quinn said, “Leadership is about vision and moral power; it’s about creating meaning and moving people to where they can’t normally be.” He went on to say that “Leaders have to be adaptive. They have to live at a higher than normal reactive state. They live in the same crises and they lift themselves up emotionally, morally, and spiritually above reaction, and they lead.”
That’s exactly how I view RBG. Here are two quotes from RBG to illustrate my point.
“Anger, resentment, envy, and self-pity are wasteful reactions. They greatly drain one’s time. They sap energy better devoted to productive endeavors.” ~RBG
“Sometimes people say unkind or thoughtless things, and when they do, it is best to be a little hard of hearing – to tune out and not snap back in anger or impatience.” ~RBG
My initial RBG quote that has been posted throughout social media – “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – is the epidemy of bold grace.
Contribution Trumps Achievement
One other point in that same Quinn interview is that “the goal of contribution trumps the goal of achievement.” And, wow, did RBG contribute!
As one headline stated, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was Not A Radical. But She Was Still Revolutionary.” “While Ginsburg’s style was steady and methodical – she never considered herself a radical – the sheer volume and impact of her work catalyzed a revolution.”
I continue to be drawn back to Quinn’s description of leadership and I can’t help but insert RBG’s name. “RBG lived at a higher than normal reactive state. She lived in the same crises and she lifted herself up emotionally, morally, and spiritually above reaction, and she led.”
RBG. A true role model of bold grace.