Albright and Rice on Leadership (& thank you, Masterclass!)

ML
2 min readSep 9, 2022

I *really* enjoyed the MasterClass series by Madeleine K. Albright (RIP) and Condoleezza Rice

It’s labeled a course in #diplomacy, but really it’s about #leadership, highstakes decision-making, and being a trailblazing woman

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/madeleine-albright-and-condoleezza-rice-teach-diplomacy

Some top takeaways 👇🧵

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Leadership is:

1) having vision — what future are you all working together to build?

2) ALSO: being a manager — many of us have worked for “visionary leaders” who are total disasters as managers, and that really hurts morale… and results

3) trust your team. delegate more

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If you’re not delegating enough, it could be:

1) your staff isn’t being given what they need

2) your staff is not capable enough. you folks are not the right fit for each other

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Bonus on Leadership: ask yourself,

“what about Me is getting in the way of my leadership?”

For Rice, she had to learn to be more judicious about her sharp and quick tongue (ahem)

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Albright’s framework on (inputs to) decision-making:

1) Objective — facts

2) Subjective — how do people feel about a matter?

3) Gov structure

4) Bureaucratic politics — budgets

5) Individuals — diff people read same facts & come to diff conclusions. know ppl’s backgrounds

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Rice’s framework on understanding how decisions were made historically:

1) Interests — resources, power dynamics

2) Ideology — e.g. capitalism vs communism

3) Institutions — looking at a situation thru military vs intelligence lenses will color the read

(Aside: people involved in the #tornadocash situation could benefit from incorporating these considerations above in their responses)

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Quips:

Some people are just weird, you just have to roll with the punches 🤣 A president of a certain nation allegedly had a crush on Rice, and she was warned. After their diplomatic meeting, he pulled her into the kitchen, didn’t let her people come with her, and said,

“I have a video to show you.” Turned out he showed her fan clips of herself. She got outta there, stet.

Madeleine Albright wore a 🙈🙉🙊 brooch when she met V P, infuriating him https://npr.org/2009/09/29/113278807/madeleine-albrights-jewelry-box-diplomacy

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Rice has never been married. Albright’s marriage broke up after they had 3 children. Makes a👩think…

thank you to the team at Masterclass for capturing Madeleine Albright so gloriously before she passed this year!

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ML

I do business things and nerd things. Also crypto things. Twitter: @michlai007