"In most any other city in the country at that time, if you tried to put a company together that included a couple of sport-coat-and-tie-wearing yuppies, some pocket-protector, can’t-give-you-a-good-handshake computer nerds, as well as some hippie-freak rock-and-roll poster artists, those three walks of life would not get along and respect one another. When you come to Austin, those three walks of life are intermingled throughout the city. At SXSW, my group of nerds was embraced by the rock-and-roll hippie freaks, and the business suits were welcomed into the community.” —RichardGarriott, founder, Origin Systems; creator, online game Ultima (now creative director, Portalarium; astronaut, Space Adventures)
If you followed Texas state senator Wendy Davis’ epic, 11-hour filibuster efforts against a bill that would have shut down all but five abortion clinics in the state (and quite possibly still will), you probably also know her shoes. As demonstrated by their newfound popularity on Amazon, the pink Mizuno Wave Riders she wore have become their own symbols of political resistance.
Last night, Wendy Davis solidified herself as a hero of women across America when she attempted a 13-hour filibuster that would kill a controversial Texan abortion bill.
In accordance with Texas rules, Davis was required to speak continuously (and on-topic), forbidden to lean against something for support, or take a break to visit the bathroom or eat.
With just two hours left in the senate’s special session—and eleven hours of speaking—Davis’ filibuster was brought to an end after three warnings by Lt. Governer David Dewhurst. However, after considerable stalling by Democrats, and almost continuous applause from supporters in the senate galley, the vote was not completed by the midnight deadline, thus accomplishing the initial objective of Davis’ action.
Here are some leadership lessons to take away from Davis’s big stand:
- You can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
- Don’t be swayed. By anything.
- Stand up for what you believe in, and don’t back down.
[Image: Eric Gay | AP images]