2012 Global Leadership Summit Session 2a: Condoleezza Rice

condoleezza rice - 2012Session 2 – No Higher Honor
Condoleezza Rice

Former U.S. Secretary of State

  • Professor of Political Science at the Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • The Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at The Hoover Institution
  • Former Stanford University Provost—responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program for 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students
  • Author and co-author of numerous books, including bestsellers No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011) and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010)

Session Notes

  • The world has been through 3 really big shocks in recent years: 9/11 (physical security shaken), global recession (financial security shaken), Arab spring.
  • Anger is a terrible way to make political reform and that’s what we’re seeing in the Middle East
  • What we’re really seeing is the universality of freedom.
  • “As Americans we need to be patient with countries moving toward freedom and democracy. Remember, my ancestors were considered 3/5 a man in our constitution.”
  • Tyranny of the majority
  • Democracy is only as strong as its weakest link.
  • Every life is worthy and every life is capable of greatness. We have an obligation to make sure that opportunity for greatness is there.
  • Government cannot be compassionate. Compassion is the work of people who believe that ever life matters.
  • It doesn’t matter where you came from. It only matters where you’re going.
  • Leadership is helping people to see their own leadership potential. Jesus did this with his disciples.
  • The most important quality of a great leader is that they are an eternal optimist.
  • Today’s headlines and history’s judgement are rarely the same.
  • Out of struggle comes victory.
  • Romans 5:3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
  • How could Nelson Mandela envision an integrated South America? How could (Polish leader) envision a free Poland? How could a little black girl born in segregated South become secretary of state?
  • Great leaders never accept the world as it was and always work for the world as it should be. 
  • Bill Hybels interview of Condoleezza Rice
    • “With all due respect…” I like debate. If you’re respectful of those you’re debating, they have to be respectful in return.
    • Who was the most dangerous person you dealt with as Secretary of State?  Bashir, leader of Sudan… Brutal towards his own people… Most dangerous people are oppressors who will do almost anything to stay in power.
    • Washington sometimes brings out the worst in people.
    • When people are under stress they become more of who they are.
    • When dealing with difficult people, always remind your self of the bigger goal and try to re-establish relationships on neutral ground.
    • Don’t play the resignation unless you’re willing to resign.
    • re: friend of president. Can be a truth teller.
    • I have never been a great planner because I have always allowed for guidance in ambiguity.
    • I love policy but not politics.
    • Called to public service, K-12 education, boys and girls club
    • I am helped (spiritually) by a message that leaves me saying, “I never thought about it that way.”

What impacted you from this session?  What action will you take as a result?

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