Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Vision, Philosophy and Style

BOND: Let me ask you a question about leadership in several components. What is the difference between vision, philosophy, and style? How do these or do these three things work together for you? Vision, philosophy and style.

RUSH: Well, I think the vision is the Lord speaking to you. Philosophy is the world speaking to you. And style is your — how you — style is the way that you present yourself, you know. But I think your vision, I think that God gives you the vision. That vision comes — you're wired for that vision, you know, and I think that — sometimes during Dr. King's birthday I might do a speech on something on Dr. King and the "I Have a Dream" vision, and I basically tell folk that, you know, Dr. King had more than just a dream. We all have dreams, but a vision — and, you know, you can have a dream, but a vision has you. You cannot — you know, a vision won't let you go. A dream — you know, you wake up in the morning, it may or may not be there. But a vision is something that grabs hold of you and keeps pushing and pulling and, you know — to me, that's what a vision is. Again, philosophy is learned behavior, learned attitudes, learned thoughts.

BOND: Some people who've been in these interviews have said that their vision changes, that when they were younger or in one phase of life they had a vision like this and then it changed. It didn't reverse or go back, but it just — it broadened, it narrowed. Has your vision changed over life?

RUSH: No, it hasn't changed. I'm basically — I fight for the better[ment] of humanity. I'm inspired by trying to do what I can for people who are broken, people who have no hope. I'm inspired by that, so it never changes. That's what has motivated me since I was a young man, and it's never, ever changed, and I think that that's what I mean by vision. I've been able to — I think a vision, it doesn't change. It matures, but it doesn't change.