We were honored to welcome Dr. Condoleezza Rice to the main stage on Day Two of Enactus World Cup 2018 in San Jose, California. She was very passionate about how each and everyone can create a better world for us all. Joanna Hioe, faculty advisor of Enactus NUS, summarized some key-takeaways of her talk.
Find your passion - If you can’t find your passion, don’t worry. Sometimes, your passion will find you. “Don’t let anybody define your passion by how you look or where you came from. Your passion is your passion.” Reflecting on her journey as a black girl from Alabama wanting to be a Soviet specialist, she encouraged the audience that it is okay to be the first.
Try something hard - You progress when you do things you don’t do well. If you’re great at reading and writing, do more math. The same applies vice versa. Do things that are hard for you - you will learn that life will put hard things in front of you. Start now by challenging yourself to do things that are hard.
Be truthful with yourself - about where you could use some improvement.
Seek out mentors and role models - You need people to see things in you that you don’t see in yourself. “If I had been waiting for the first black female soviet specialist role model, I would still be waiting. Role models don’t need to look like you. Your mentors need to know that if they invest in you, you will invest in yourself and earn that right to mentorship," Rice said.
Talk to people who are different - "Have an open mind to counter a mindset of tribalism. Pledge to know people who are different from you and have humility about what you have in serving the less fortunate. Do little tests with yourself to see that your opinions are backed by facts. Stay open to the possibility that you might be wrong," she advised.
Think about the application and ethics of technology - "As you pursue technologies, be mindful of their effects on people. People believe here in Silicon Valley that technology is good, that it is neutral. But the same technology that split atoms created the atom bomb, and the same technology that brings education to rural areas can also lead to a greater divide between those who have access and those who don’t," Rice said.
Be a public servant - You may never work in government, but you can contribute to your democracy. Prepare to lead- take the opportunities put in front of you. Stretch yourself to lead in circumstances in which you are not particularly comfortable. As a leader, the most important job is to see leadership qualities in other people.
Prioritise Integrity - "When I look at myself in the mirror, am I asking others to do something I would not do? Build trust and reputation", she said.
Connect with a global network of Enactus teams - from cultures far different from one’s own. Make friends, and keep in touch, and you may find partners around the world. Find young people where they are - volunteer with kids, or at boys and girls clubs. Always bring the next generation along with you by bringing them along in your project. Alumni networks are very valuable in bringing the next generation along.
Be creative - "Being creative is a craft that takes work. Work at your craft, see a world that could be, and work at it," she said.
From January 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001 to 2005, the first woman to hold the position. Currently she is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University. She is also a founding partner of RiceHadleyGates, LLC.