15 Things You Didn’t Know about Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza RiceYou probably know Condoleezza Rice as the first female African-American secretary of state succeeding Colin Powell in the position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford and later Provost of the university. She joins the faculty of The 2012 Global Leadership Summit.

You may know Rice’s professional accomplishments, but did you know:

    1. Her name comes from the Italian word con dolcezza, an Italian musical term meaning “play with sweetness.”
    2. Rice grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, “the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). At the age of eight, one of the girls in her school was killed when white supremacists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. (September 15, 1963)
    3. She was the only child of a school teacher and Presbyterian minister who couldn’t eat at the lunch counter at Woolworth’s because of segregation laws, but they believed their daughter could be President.
    4. She skipped first and seventh grades and graduated at the age of 15.
    5. Her grandfather was a sharecropper who went to college and paid his tuition with cotton.
    6. She changed her major to political science after hearing a lecture about Joseph Stalin taught by Madeleine Albright’s father. (Albright was Secretary of State 1997-2001).
    7. When Rice became Provost at Stanford, the school’s budget was $20 million over budget. Within two years, the deficit was wiped out and the university’s coffers were nearly $15 million in the black.
    8. Her father coached football and hoped his unborn child would become an all-American linebacker. When he had a daughter, he taught her all about football. She compares football to warfare because both involve the use of strategy and the goal of taking territory.
    9. The best way to win her heart is to spend Sunday afternoons watching football.
    10. After serving on the Board at Chevron, the corporation honored her by naming a 129,000-ton tanker SS Condoleezza Rice. (It was renamed Altair Voyager.)
    11. One of her prize possessions is a first edition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace—written in Russian. (She has read it twice.)
    12. A concert pianist, Rice has played for Queen Elizabeth and has performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Aretha Franklin.
    13. Her favorite composer is Brahms and her favorite band is Led Zeppelin.
    14. Her dream job? President of the NFL
    15. Rice attends Menlo Park Presbyterian Church where John Ortberg is senior pastor.

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Announcing The Global Leadership Summit

Maybe you missed it, or maybe you just can’t get enough – either way, we’re glad you’re here! This webcast marks the launch of our 2012 Global Leadership Summit season and the team behind the event is so excited. Here’s a recap of the webcast, along with a process tool that you can work through on your own or with your team.

GLS Faculty 2012 Announcement

Bill Hybels and Jim Mellado on The Global Leadership Summit

Leaders know they need an annual injection of vision, encouragement, and skill development because the pressures of leadership are relentless. Bill Hybels believes The Summit is that injection – for any leader – “because it’s about the subject of leadership which is transdenominational, transcultural, and transdisciplinary. Everyone who leads anything needs to get better. There’s an adrenaline rush that comes with knowing that you’re getting better and your organization is getting better.”

There is a collection of tensions that makes the Summit unique. It is first and foremost, and unapologetically Christian event. At the same time, Bill and the team behind the Summit pull from the world’s best experts when inviting speakers. The Summit is leader focused but it’s also inclusive of everyone because everyone is a person of influence and must improve. There is a world-class, global perspective to the Summit that is balanced with a high level of local ownership. And the Summit is packed with both tactical, skill based teaching as well as inspiration and motivation. It’s the tension that sets the Summit apart and makes it what it is.

This year the GLS is pleased to announce a powerful faculty including:

  • Bill Hybels: Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; founder of The Global Leadership Summit – @BillHybels
  • Condoleezza Rice: Former US Secretary Of State; Professor at Stanford Graduate School – @CondoleezzaRice
  • Jim Collins: Nationally acclaimed Business Thinker and author of newest release Great by Choice
  • Marc Kielburger: At age 18 co-founded Free the Children, which has become the largest network of children helping children – @RealMeToWe
  • Sheryl Wudunn: Pulitzer Prize Winner for Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide – @Wudunn
  • Pranitha Timothy: Strategic leader with International Justice Mission who champions restoration and reintegration for thousands of freed slaves in India
  • Craig Groeschel: Founder and Senior Pastor LifeChurch.tv known for leveraging technology to reach a new generation – @CraigGroeschel
  • William Ury: Professor at Harvard with 30 years experience negotiating and mediating corporate, state, and civic conflicts
  • John Ortberg: Senior Pastor, Menlo Presbyterian Church; best-selling author and prominent voice in the spiritual formation movement -@JohnOrtberg
  • Mario Vega: Senior Pastor of a 73,000-attendee church in El Salvador with a successful cell group strategy
  • Geoffrey Canada: Pioneering leader in urban education featured in acclaimed documentary film, Waiting for Superman; CEO/President Harlem Children’s Zone.
  • Patrick Lencioni: Sought-after business speaker teaching from his upcoming book The Advantage about the significance of organizational health – @PatrickLencioni
  • Patrick Lencioni on Meetings

    For most of us working in churches or businesses, meetings occupy a significant portion of time. To admit to not liking meetings is akin to not liking our jobs. Often meetings are equated with corporate penance but the truth is meetings are not inherently bad. Most meetings lack two critical components: drama and context.

    Every good movie must have conflict which is carefully managed by a good director. Likewise, Lencioni argues every meeting must have an issue at stake that people truly care about, “otherwise we are actually asking them to sit around the table and plan their day, or plan dinner, or picture everyone else in the room in their underwear.” We as leaders need to do a better job of being the director; people want tension, anxiety, conflict and a mechanism for resolution.

    Too often we produce “meeting stew” – all topics thrown into one big meeting that nobody is really enjoying. If we focus on the context of a meeting then each topic can be given the attention it requires. Lencioni prescribes four types of meetings: the daily check-in, the weekly staff meeting, the monthly strategic, and the quarterly review. Add each of these up and it comes to about 15% of a leader’s time. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things.

    People don’t hate meetings. They hate bad meetings. Add conflict and context to transform your meetings and the health of your organization. Here is a process tool to help you evaluate your meetings.

    Meet the Faculty

    We work hard, year-round, to bring a world-class faculty to the stage of The Global Leadership Summit each August. This year, we are excited to bring another top-notch collection of leaders, thinkers, and world changers. Watch the blog in weeks to come as we introduce each speaker, and follow @WCAGLS for updates and conversation. And don’t forget to reserve your seat now!

    GLS StageThe 2012 Global Leadership Summit Faculty:

    Condoleezza Rice – 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Condoleezza Rice

    Jim Collins – Ten Greatest CEOs of all Time

    Marc Kielburger – Meet Marc Kielburger

    Pranitha Timothy – A Voice for the Voiceless

    Craig Groeschel – Thoughts from Craig Groeschel

    Mario Vega – Reaching San Salvador

    John Ortberg – Introducing John Ortberg

    Sheryl WuDunn – What Drives Sheryl?

    Patrick Lencioni – Meet Patrick Lencioni

    Geoffrey Canada – Geoffrey Canada’s Thoughts on Leadership

    William Ury – A Yes Man Says No

    Bill Hybels – Bill Hybels’ Hardest Years

    Who are you looking forward to hearing from?

    Patrick is back!

    Patrick LencioniPatrick Lencioni was one of the Summit favorites last year! Patrick is a sought-after speaker and consultant, as well as the author of several best-selling business books. He’s taught at Willow a few times for different events so we’re excited to have him join us again. On Friday, March 16th our team is hosting a webcast that will announce this year’s Summit line up. And to serve your team, the webcast will also feature Patrick as he shares insight from his book, The Advantage. Here are a few of our lessons from that title, join us Friday for much more from Patrick!

    Meetings are not inherently bad, but yet we love to hate them. In order to transform meetings, you must first understand why they can be so bad. Patrick argues meetings lack drama, context and purpose which leads to boring, unfocused and endless. An engaging (less boring) meeting starts with identifying and nurturing the natural level of conflict that should exist. It’s about having the right people at the table to wrestle with the right issues. To address the issue of context, leaders must differentiate between different types of meetings. Patrick maintains there are four: Daily Check-in, the Weekly Tactical, the Monthly Strategic and the Quarterly Off-site Review. Purpose comes when the appropriate type of meeting is held at a given time. Too often organizations simply throw all the pertinent topics into one big staff meeting.

    One of the tensions many leaders face is balancing meetings and productivity. To this Patrick says that reshaping your current meetings into his four-pronged approach should add up to about 20% of a leader’s time. And he would challenge a leader with the basic question: “What is more important than meetings?” The answer may indicate that perhaps a leader should reconsider their role. Because, Patrick says, “if you think about it, a leader who hates meetings is a lot like a surgeon who hates operating on people, or a symphony conductor who hates concerts. Meetings are what leaders do, and the solution to bad meetings is not the elimination of them, but rather the transformation of them into meaningful, engaging and relevant activities.”

    Creating healthy meetings and a healthy team isn’t easy but it’s worth it. Patrick argues that addressing healthy team is one of the remaining competitive advantages in business and ministry.

    Check out Patrick’s book
    Take the Meetings Quiz

    GLS 2011 moments to celebrate

    The Global Leadership Summit is a lifeline to thousands of leaders around the world. Faced with natural disasters, religious persecution, and poverty, these leaders crave the inspiration, encouragement, and practical training the Summit offers. It’s often the one time each year they are reminded that they are not alone and that God still has a plan to use them to transform their communities. These 3 short stories are just a glimpse of how God is using the Summit to renew hope around the world.

    900 Junior and Senior High School Students Gather in Japan
    2011 Global Leadership Summit in JapanIn the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated Japan, 900 young people gathered for a special evening experience created just for students. Featuring hip hop music, dance, and worship led by local students, the evening featured Blake Mycoskie’s story of leading TOMS. Inspired by this story of generosity these students collected over $3,000 for the tsunami victims. A sense of hope and opportunity to impact the next generation in Japan permeated the room.

    Hope in the Midst of Violence
    2011 Global Leadership Summit in Kaduna NigeriaDays before the start of the GLS in Kaduna, Nigeria, terrorists entered a church in a nearby city killing 2 women. With tensions high and travel restrictions in place, local leaders decided to proceed as the GLS offered exactly what was needed to bring hope, encouragement, and restoration to this city. In fact, one senior leader purchased 40 Team Edition DVD sets to be given to those that couldn’t attend.

    A Capacity Crowd in Myanmar
    2011 Global Leadership Summit in MyanmarMore than 1,000 leaders gathered and an additional 200 leaders had to be turned away. One pastor commented that in 26 years of ministry, he had never seen such a large crowd gather for a Christian event. With government restrictions easing in recent months, there is great hope for increased religious freedom. People are hungry and desperate for the kind of inspiration and training the GLS offers.

    You can be a part of the GLS movement – watch the webcast and register today!

    Advantage: Lencioni

    Patrick LencioniTo lead your organization, church, or team to long-term sustainable success, you need an advantage. And Patrick Lencioni knows how to get it. In his forthcoming book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, he makes the case that organizational health will surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.

    In The Advantage, Lencioni takes a holistic, comprehensive approach to improving organizational health. And how does he define a healthy organization? An organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent, and complete; when its management operations and culture are unified. Healthy organizations are free of politics and confusion, and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave.

    Healthy companies are messy and imperfect. They argue, make mistakes, and try things that don’t work. But they know who they are, what they believe in, and what they’re trying to accomplish. Employees want to work there, they have loyal consumers, and extremely humble leaders who know why they are there and what the organization is all about.

    To receive feedback on the overall health of your ministry or company, check out the free Organizational Health Survey, available on Patrick’s website.

    Lencioni, a business consultant with a diverse base of clients including a mix of Fortune 500 companies, churches, the military, professional sports organizations, non-profits, and universities, speaks to thousands of leaders each year, including the Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit. His most recent books are Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Tree Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty (2010) and The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family (2008) The Advantage is scheduled for release this month.

    Hear Patrick Lencioni speak on the most untapped competitive advantage in business, this Friday, March 16 on the WCA’s National Leader’s webcast.

    Announcing The Summit 2012 Faculty Line-Up

    Thoughts on leadership from Jim Mellado (@JimMellado), President of Willow Creek Association. Jim leads staff & volunteers to accomplish WCA’s purpose of maximizing the life-transformation effectiveness of local churches.

    I’m deeply passionate about the potential of well-led churches and organizations to change the world. Regardless of where you lead, The Global Leadership Summit is the place to experience a torrent of inspiration, disarming thoughts, and stirring new vantage points from others.

    But the real story happens when God moves in the heart of a leader…

    I’ll be talking with Bill Hybels this Friday, March 16th, for a webcast announcing the Summit 2012 faculy line-up and offering up a snapshot of what you can expect at the Summit this year.

    In humble service,
    Jim Mellado

    A prayer for your team

    Greg Ferguson is Co-Producer/Experience Designer for The Global Leadership Summit. Visit his blog, 10,000 pages.

    The Global Leadership Summit 2012 Strategist TeamThe energy in and around our team is a wee bit high these days. We’re oh, so close to launching the 2012 Global Leadership Season (tune in on March 16 at 11:30 for the webcast that kicks it all off)! Last week we got to host some of the team from around the country that helps spread the word about GLS for a time of training and networking. It’s one of our favorite gatherings of the year. Greg Ferguson helped set the direction of the day with this prayer – the words really resonated with us so we want to pass it on and bless your week.

    Lord God

    help us take on this great adventure
    with the knowledge that You are right with us,
    right now.

    focus our multitasking minds.
    normalize our pulse…
    there is a lot going on.
    help us take our concerns,
    put them in a backpack,
    and put them into your hands,
    for You to take care of until today comes to a close.

    give us clarity,
    bring our conversations to life,
    spark our imaginations.
    fill us up with your infectious energy
    for what’s going to happen in the days and weeks to come.
    (we don’t want to take for granted how unusual this all this..)

    give us resources and ideas from surprising places,
    and give us nudges and whispers and hints
    around every corner.

    You are our leader.
    You are the one who goes ahead of us,
    and paves the way.

    You are the one we lean on
    when we’re unsure and exhausted,
    when we lose our compass.

    if we had one little window into Your strategic mind
    and knew how many moves You are ahead of us,
    we would stop worrying.

    we know that this adventure’s all Yours.
    this is one of the ways You have invented
    to make everything better.

    one thing is connected to another
    and in connections like these,
    You feed the hungry,
    free slaves,
    heal families,
    root out corruption,
    give order to chaos,
    and answer desperate prayers.
    You bring lost sheep home,
    build bridges,
    reconcile wrecked relationships,
    protect the vulnerable,
    and bring dying churches back to life.

    we are thrilled and honored
    to be a part of Your work to set the world right.
    we accept this privilege
    and we trust you to work everything out in due time.

    we pray all this with
    and reverence
    and respect for Your Name.


    We got to pray this as a large group, headed into a very hectic season. Maybe your group isn’t quite this big, maybe it’s at home, in ministry, or at work – whatever your group looks like, we encourage you to gather together and lift this prayer up over the work you’ve been given. Which line will you carry with you today? Into the next season?

    GLS 2012 – Exciting update

    The interest in this year’s Global Leadership Summit has been overwhelming. Last week the Main Auditorium at the South Barrington campus sold out—and we haven’t even made the official speaker announcement! Don’t worry though, there are still seats available on campus in the Lakeside Auditorium as well as nearly 200 Premier Host Site locations around the US.

    We hope everyone is as excited about the impact the Global Leadership Summit has on leaders, churches, communities, regions and nations. And the impact doesn’t end at the close of the last day because everyone carries home a powerful moment that challenged and possibly changed them. So, we’re thrilled to share with you a few of the standout moments from the past. Here’s a Taste of the Summit including videos from some of our favorite sessions in past years-plus processing tools for you to share with your coworkers, friends, and church.

    Mark your calendars for our National Leaders Webcast from 11:30-12:30 on Friday, March 16 when Bill Hybels and Jim Mellado will announce this year’s faculty. We’ll also feature teaching on the important topic of organizational health from last year’s top-rated speaker, Patrick Lencioni. You don’t want to miss it!

    The Language of Leadership

    “Words matter. And giving people language with which they can express the values of a culture is about 50% of what it takes to build a culture. So, the choice of words that you want to mainstream in your culture is exceedingly important.” – Bill Hybels

    A healthy organization and/or self can dissipate because of the misuse and lack of intention with words. Within an age of constant emails, tweets, media, and—yes—blog posts, leaders must find a way to break through the noise to clarify vision and inspire those we lead. But this takes hard work. In attempting to elevate the value of what pastors lead emerged the phrase “the local church is the hope of the world.” This has become the rallying cry of a movement.

    This month’s Defining Moments focuses on the power of words. Focused primarily on those who preach regularly, Bill also spends time talking about the seemingly insignificant communication moments that we have as leaders such as announcements. I would also extend this to tweets, Facebook statuses, or comments made in meetings throughout our culture.

    Paul urged the church at Ephesus to not just hold back negative words, but to leverage them for the task of inspiration and serving those we lead (4:29). So, as Richard Allen Farmer challenges, how are you doing with the words you use as a leader?

    Defining Moments is available exclusively for WCA Members to watch here.

    We suggest you watch listen to this month’s episode, watch it with your team, and then schedule some time to discuss it together.

    Individual Reflection Questions

  • How much time do you currently spend on sermon preparation versus your other leadership responsibilities?
  • What impacts this balance in any given week?
  • What mix of people currently provide feedback on your talks (solicited or not to which you listen)? (For instance, Bill mentioned having someone who checks his theology, another who gives him feedback on his logic, a business leader who tells him whether its accessible, and people from different genders and cultural backgrounds.)
  • Thinking about your next talk, what do you want people to know and what do you want them to do?
  • Can you tweet the main idea of your next talk?
  • Team Discussion Questions

    We encourage you to get together with all the communicators in your organization (student ministry leaders, teaching team, and even those who do announcements, etc.) and discuss a few questions:

  • Spend some time describing the process you’ve used in developing your best talks.
  • What words or phrases are common in your environment? (repeated often, most memorable, part of your church’s brand, etc.)
  • Thinking about your next sermon, what do you want people to know and what do you want them to do?
  • How does your team provide feedback to each other or filter the feedback you already receive?
  • Write out, word-for-word, a couple sentences you would deliver in an upcoming talk, presentation, or announcement. Then spend some time brainstorming five different ways to say the same thing.
  • By Andy Cook (@WCAAndy),
    Willow Creek Association
    Events and Church Relations