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

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

Some top takeaways 👇🧵


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


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


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)


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


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)



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


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!




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