Condoleezza Rice has been named one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine. As a close advisor to several former US presidents, having held various positions including Secretary of State, it is possible that she is. When speaking at the 2012 Annual Global Leadership Summit, Rice described the characteristics that she feels are most valuable to becoming a great leader.
The key element, Rice said, is “a true leader never accepts the world as it is, but strives always to make the world as it should be.” An effective leader must have a clear idea of where they are trying to lead the team or organization that they are leading. They will be willing to take risks and selfless action in order to reach this vision, which will inspire others to do the same.
A good leader understands that world-changing goals cannot be reached overnight. Rice has spent decades in public service, tirelessly working to make, not just the US but the world, a better place to live. While striving toward optimistic objectives, a leader must also have patience in order to stay positive and avoid discouragement. When others see these qualities, they will gain confidence as well.
Rice has been unafraid to publicly speak on topics of disagreement with US foreign policy and the current administration. Placing her values and her vision for international relations above political correctness, she boldly calls out US leaders on their timidity and lack of action that she feels is detrimental to the nation.
When speaking against the Obama administration, Rice called for greater dedication in US leadership, saying, “I fully understand the sense of weariness. I fully understand that we must think: ‘Us, again?’ I know that we’ve been through two wars. I know that we’ve been vigilant against terrorism. I know that it’s hard. But leaders can’t afford to get tired. Leaders can’t afford to be weary.”
Though Rice was raised in segregated Alabama, she was instilled with the idea that her potential was unlimited. She believes in making the most of every opportunity and having confidence in your potential. Despite race, gender, or any other factor, Rice has refused to be intimidated or discouraged from her objective of leaving the world a better place than how she found it.