I fell in love with Sandra Day O’Connor in 1991 when she was appointed to the Supreme Court by then President Ronald Reagan.

As the 1st woman to serve on the court, I felt somehow secretly connected to her.

Over the years, I watched how the media criticized her every move in ways that were different than her male colleagues.

In the book Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became the Most Influential Justice by Joan Biskupic, the author writes, “She didn’t wallow in problems or reveal self-doubt…she looked for common ground. She did not nurse grudges.”

Confidence. Common ground. Forgiveness.

Great leaders understand the value of demonstrating all of that.

They also understand the value of creating powerful partnerships, the 3rd Pillar in my 7 Pillars of Leadership.

“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” – Sandra Day O’Connor

Even if you’re super smart and talented, you have to collaborate to grow.

Part of collaboration is finding common ground. (And, it often involves forgiveness of self and others in the process.)

In over 25 years of work in leadership, I’ve never met a leader who’s been successful without the help of others along the journey.

Going it alone is a myth. You need other people.

When I first opened my business, I was too proud and too embarrassed to ask for help.

Doubt and fear began to creep in.

  • Am I smart enough to do this?
  • How do I know if I’m on the right path?
  • Why is growing this business so darn hard?!?

Interestingly enough, these were the same questions I asked myself before I took my leadership journey and became the fastest promoted officer in my Federal law enforcement agency.

The doubt-filled questions were not a sign of weakness nor an indication that I was headed in the wrong direction.

They were indicative of a growth edge.

And, I needed to forgive my own fear of vulnerability in order to reach out.

The results speak for themselves.

When you connect and collaborate, bigger opportunities will come into your life. 

“In every age, there comes a time when leadership suddenly comes forth to meet the needs of the hour. And so there is no man who does not find his time, and there is no hour that does not have its leader.”  – Sandra Day O’Connor

Are you ready to step up and into your leadership at a new level?


AThe Upside Challenge of the week is to identify ways in which you’ve been trying to “go it alone”. Spend the week connecting with other like-minded leaders.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

1 Comment

  1. Pamela Thompson on June 19, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the reminder, Lisa Marie, of the importance of reaching out, connecting and collaborating. It is so true in these times of constant
    change and when dealing with complex issues; now more than ever we need to work together with others and recognize both our strengths and our weaknesses. Sandra Day O’Connor sounds like a wise woman, an awesome leader and I definitely plan to get her book! Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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