The Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Session 2, Condoleezza Rice

Condoleeza Rice, the former secretary of state of the U.S. speaks then is interviewed by Bill Hybels, during Session 2 at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, August 2012.

9/11 changed how people viewed physical security (Brings more terror to our soil than any since the War of 1812)

condi rice

Condoleeza Rice

The 2008 crash changed how people view financial security

Arab Spring has reminded us of authoritarian insecurity (When the boundaries are removed, all that is left is anger. When anger takes hold, there is no reform, but, instead, there is revolution.

We see the desire for freedom.

“When the framers said we the people, they didn’t mean me. My ancestors were in the constitution at 3/5 of a man.”

1) Democracy (one man/one vote) requires protection of minorities. It requires that the strong not exploit the weak. This is not the role of government. Government cannot place into the hearts of people to hold up the weak. Democracy is only as strong as its weakest link.

2) Every life is worthy. There are no kinds and queens. There are no permanent station in life. No one is condemned to the place there are born, otherwise democracy will not be stable. Every life is capable of greatness and every person has the responsibility to promote that.

“Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died for each and every one of us.”

The church has a responsibility to act as if every single life is worthy. The government cannot deliver compassion.

G.W. Bush to an AIDS orphan, “God is good.” To which he replied, “All the time.”

It is important to deliver compassion, but it is more important to give them a chance to control their own future. This is done by giving them a chance to be educated.

When I can look at your zip code and know whether or not you are probably going to college, can we really say, “It does not matter where you come from?”

I’m convinced the most important characteristic of a leader is that he or she be an irrepressible optimist. One source of optimism is to remember how good or bad our circumstances really are.

Remember that indeed out of struggle very often comes victory. This, of course, is the central message of our Christian faith. Indeed it is a privilege to struggle.

Nelson Mandela did not envision a South Africa in which once oppressed blacks were empowered to oppress whites, but a South Africa in which a white golfer, Ernie Els, references a black man as the greatest man he’s ever met.

Bill Hybels Interviews at this point

Points to a panel discussion in which Rice breaks into an attack using, “With all due respect…”

Today’s headlines and history’s judgments are rarely the same.

Who was the most dangerous person you dealt with on the world stage? There were a lot of them. Probably the leader of Sudan (Bahir) was probably the most dangerous man I ever had to deal with. When a person is so brutal toward his own people, it’s a proxy for something else. I did not relish being in the presence of someone I considered to be a war criminal. He was someone for whom I had the ‘greatest loathing.’

In your book, some of the teams seemed “rather dysfunctional” (lacking a better word). She replies, “Is this the question about Donald Rumsfeld and vice-president Cheney?” (laughing)

When things are tough people become more of who they are. (When under pressure our true self is exposed.)

When you were close to resigning how legitimate is it to play the resignation card? I never actually said it. Had I said it, I would have resigned. It was just the pressure of having to deal with all of the post-9/11 stuff.

Does close friendship cause things to get funky? It does complicate things. We had been friends for a long time and we did have a very close relationship. When on the road as secretary of state it helped to know him so well, that I did not have to “phone home” all the time.

Use the relationship with the president to be a truth teller. “No, you are just wrong.” This has to be done in private.

Is there not a deep and abiding reason you are not pursuing the presidency? Is it your faith, or are you trusting God? I’m not a 10-year down the road planner. I believe in faith through ambiguity. I love policy, but not politics. I’m called to do public service (and not just in DC). I care deeply about the state of K-12 education, and play piano concerts for kids who do not have music programs.

Talk in her book about being a serious follower of Christ. On this coming Sunday, when you walk into church, what are you hoping will happen to you? Quiet time with God. I pray at night and try to meditate every morning. But, life enters and it is hard to find rest. Church is a place where that happens for me. I am helped by a message that is biblically grounded and that makes me think, ‘I never thought about it that way.’

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • didn’t know she was a Christian. I need to get out more it seems :^).