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Condoleezza Rice urges leaders to ignore the headlines

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sage words of advice for politicians and business leaders as they navigate the uncertainty that afflicts the global political and economic landscape.

“Today’s headlines and history’s judgement are rarely the same.”

Rice told leaders at CME Group’s annual Global Financial Leadership Conference that the best decisions often are made when decision-makers ignore immediate pressure and think about the long term. Rice cited the “fiscal cliff” debate swirling in Washington as an example of when leaders would do well to shun the media circus and simply disappear into a room until they reach a sound agreement.

Numerous business leaders have written letters and otherwise made public their wish that lawmakers would come together to solve mounting fiscal concerns. But in a world where business leaders often face the pressure of immediacy in the form of shareholders and stock prices, many would do well to apply Rice’s advice to corporate governance.

Rice went on to emphasize the importance of countries keeping their fiscal house in order. “If a country loses control of its fiscal destiny, it loses control of its destiny,” she said. Yet more wise words from Rice that can easily be applied to companies as well.