Listening to #NoHigherHonor by #CondoleezaRice (#audiobooks rock!). I don’t think I ever fully thought about what it must have been like to be her. Admittedly, the extent of my thoughts about her focused on her as a prominent African American Republican. Where I come from that is sacrilegious! It is unconscionable to be a republican in general and even moreso to be a black one! As I hear/read about her life in light of her academic background, her professional training, and her work ethic, I cannot imagine how devastating 9-11 must have been for her. Yes, the country sustained a loss; but, can you imagine what it is like when responsibility for such issues fall under your purview?
As profound as the weight of her job was, the realities of leadership, political and otherwise, also struck me. As she shared stories about conflict within the Bush Administration, and I’m certain that she was delicate in her portrayal of many situations, it occurred to me just how strong she must have been and how much fight you must have in you to be involved in any large, complex organization. The undermining behaviors, disrespect and condescension, rogue agendas, etc., can’t be ignored, and you have to have stamina and temerity to respond to and overcome them. Most people think about fighting obvious enemies from other teams or organizations, but in-fighting is just as, if not, more, destructive. What do you do when the enemy isn’t at the competing organization down the road, but sitting next to you in the staff meeting?