“I don’t ever remember thinking that I was an exceptional student, segregation was just always in my way”, Condoleezza once said looking back on her difficult childhood. Segregation played a huge part in Condoleezza Rice’s life. Whether it took place during the times of her childhood or even while she held her position as Secretary of State. No matter how tough times became for Rice, she always held her head up high and never gave up. It’s evident that Condoleezza Rice is a living leader because she is determined, dedicated, and confident.
Condoleezza Rice’s determination is one of the many ways she demonstrates leadership. To begin with, Condoleezza rice received a low score on her SAT; however she didn’t let that get in the way of her goal to finish High School earlier than anyone else in her class. Rice decided to pay a visit to her counselor, only to be told that she wouldn’t be able to graduate early because she wasn’t smart enough (Felix, 92). Condoleezza Rice didn’t like what she had been told and thought the real reason behind it all was because of the color of her skin.
Rice wanted to prove everyone wrong, so she decided to put all her effort into her work and study harder than anyone else was. Rice’s dream was a success; she ended up graduating fourth in her class at the age of fifteen while finishing up her first year of university at the same time (The Lady and the Veep). Condoleezza Rice is determined to do whatever she sets her mind to. “Every day as a young child was spent at my grandmothers, hour after hour piano students marched in and out, the sounds fascinated me and that’s when I knew… (Felix, 38). Rice always had a difficult time doing things that she was interested in, because of the segregated community she was being raised in. Therefore, no matter what was going on, if there was an opportunity for her to practice she would take it. Rice began fulfilling her dream at the age of three, performing in her first recital just a year later (Taking Care of Washington). After graduating high school earlier than anyone else in her class, she started attending the University of Denver to become a concert pianist.
No matter what Condoleezza Rice had to overcome to become who she wanted to be she would do it. Rice was highly dedicated to her job as ‘National Security Advisor’. “The presidency is not just the president; it’s the whole team of people who are going to get things done” (Felix, 5). Condoleezza Rice always put all of her hard work in to what she did for the president. She never thought of her job as ‘National Security Advisor’ as an occupation, but instead she referred to it as a way of life.
Even though Rice is presented as being diligent and hard- working, she is not known as someone who will illuminate the president’s ideas with her intelligence, but instead she only presents the basic facts making sure to leave out any of her own voiced opinions (Taking Care of Washington). Condoleezza Rice’s dedication is evident by her many hours of work per day. Not only does Rice stay with her ridiculous schedule but, she always puts her duties first. Rice tends to only put most of her time towards her job, not her personal life.
Once Condoleezza Rice settled in as secretary of state, she began to looking at her job in a whole new perspective. For instance, she works hard to keep her private opinions to herself so she can keep her image as an enigma (First Black Women to Hold Post). Whether Rice is working as a ‘Spokesperson’ or Bush’s ‘Eyes and ears’ she serves solely as intermediary, never as an individual (Taking Care of Washington). Of all of Rice’s good qualities, her strongest is unselfishness. One way she shows this unselfishness is through her generosity towards others.
During the situation with Iran and their nuclear program Rice did whatever she could to reason with them. Even thought they weren’t able to be trusted at the time Condoleezza Rice put all her efforts in to making Iran comfortable. Rice had spent her own time negotiating with Iran (Inside the Committee that Runs the World). Soon after she had ran out of things to offer Iran that would make them comfortable with us, Rice convinced the six parties to put forward some generous incentives.
In other words, the United States and Iran were more important to her at the time then she was. While having the duties to come up with the ideas to combat threats to American interests at home and overseas Condoleezza Rice took it upon herself to create a new policy for dealing with Saddam Hussein. Although it wasn’t her job she felt like it was her calling to keep the country safe from anymore terrorist attacks previous to the one on 9/11 (New Statesman). Therefore, She is unselfish by putting all her time and effort towards other people.
Its obvious Condoleezza Rice is a living leader, and there are multiple reasons why such as her; determination, dedication, and unselfishness. Her incredible determination to overcome segregation so she could do what she enjoyed the most had a great impact on her life. Condoleezza grew up in a very segregated community. She always had trouble doing things that she was interested in because of the color of her skin. Rice didn’t let her race get in the way of her academic abilities. She used her intelligence to graduate high school at an earlier age than most and move on to bigger and better things.