âWe normally get our instructions on various issues from the State Department or the White House,â she wrote, describing an unnamed situation in 2011 âwhere it wasnât a big deal that we had to litigate at the highest levels.â
âIn that instance, I would be at the table in Washington and argue my point of view. The president or somebody else would make a decision and weâd have to implement it,â" Rice explained. âThis was not of âŚ a [high] degree of profile, but it had the potential to poison the atmosphere here at the UN and create some resentment toward us that I figured we didnât need to create.â
Rice continued, exploring the tactical toolbox she used to manipulate the decision-making process and get her way.
âThe original instruction was to go kill this proposal outright with blunt force,â she recalled in the interview. âMy team in Washington got me a modified instruction that didnât soften it as much as I wanted. It basically said, kill it with a bunch of questions. But these are questions that I had already delayed it with six weeks ago, so to come back with that tactic wasnât going to work, either. I decided to do it a different way, toward the same end. My view is that, if we can kill it without a lot of cost, thatâs fine.â
âI created an environment in which we may not have to kill the proposal overtly ourselves, and the thing can collapse of its own weight. âŚ Itâs fun to figure out not just what it is we have to do, but also to have some opportunity to carry out how we do it.â
Rice also discussed in the interview her professional demeanor and management style.
âIâm straightforward,â she said. âPeople know when they talk to me that what they see is what they get â that Iâm not playing games. I think thatâs very important. They see me as pretty open and collaborative, tough when I need to be, but not confrontational for my own sake. I think people know not to mess with me. And if they havenât learned, and they try, then they will learn.â
Rice confessed that one weakness persisted from her days as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs: a lack of patience.
âPatience still isnât my strong suit. I began recognizing that the best way to get from A to Z was not always in a straight line âŚ sometimes you need to tack and adjust. Sometimes you have to slow down to bring as many people along as possible,â she recalled.
â[T]hereâs nothing about my work or my job that I inherently fear,â she said in the book. âI never have. I worry about some of the issues weâre dealing with, which are really challenging, but Iâm not afraid.â