Leadership lessons from Sandra Day O'Connor, who at one time couldn't find a job as a lawyer

Posted on 07-07-2014 by
Tags: woman lawyers , career advancement , Upgrading Your Skills , career management

What makes Sandra Day O’Connor a great leader? While she was not a CEO or president of a Fortune 500 company, she demonstrated leadership traits on a daily basis. She set goals and accomplished them. She taught, and she learned. She created a team and led. She accepted public criticism and gave credit. She listened and spoke. She inspired and was inspiring. The truth is, there are not many of us who would hold our heads high if we had been in O’Connor’s shoes when she could not find a job as a lawyer. Instead of shouting about the unfairness of the situation, she looked for another option, an option that would yield great results once she proved herself in public service.

It is interesting to note, in spite of Sandra Day O’Connor’s accomplishments during law school, no law firm in California would hire her due to her gender. And after a series of roles and controversy, on September 21, 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed by the US Senate with a vote of 99-0.

During her tenure as a Justice, O’Connor was known to review cases on an individual basis, which placed her in the center of the court and drew both criticism and praise. She retired from the court in January 2006, and in August 2009, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States, by President Barack Obama.

When we think about the qualities that characterize a leader, we often create a list that includes charisma, vision, and strength. But it’s also important to consider the qualities that a leader instills in his or her followers, such as, loyalty, motivation, and dedication.

The above is an excerpt from the article Leadership Inspiration from the Supreme Court published via DuetsBlog


Posted on : 11 Jun 2015 5:58 AM

A very inspiring story here of Sandra Day O'Connor, doing what she did and facing the gender battle is a big accomplishment. We all need to have the courage and patience to find solutions  to  problems and not make a noise about it.

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