Congratulations to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore on membership into the previously all male Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament. Both are avid golfers and without question meet (and most likely exceed) the Club’s “money and power” membership requirements.
THE WALLS OF BIGOTRY, INTOLERANCE, UNEARNED ADVANTAGE AND PRIVILEGE ARE SLOW TO COME DOWN. They are, however, penetrable and prone to crack, chip, and develop holes. There is now a hole in the wall at Augusta National through which two very deserving, and well-prepared women have passed. They did not create the hole by their own might, nor did the guardians of the wall at Augusta National determine, without outside pressure, it was good to have women in the fold. Cracks and chips and holes are the result of a confluence of persistent and determined action.
I do not know when Condoleezza Rice or Darla Moore learned of the possibility of becoming the first women members of Augusta National. I do know THEY DID NOT SCRAMBLE TO BECOME “QUALIFIED”. Their life stories are full of history-making accomplishments that pre-date the August 2012 membership invitation and their acceptance.
Some say “timing is everything” or “they had to pick a woman or a minority”. While these may be true statements, they never tell the whole story and tragically diminish the value of preparation. RELIANCE ON LUCK, TIMING, GENDER, OR ETHNICITY PAVES THE WAY FOR POOR PERFORMANCE AND A SLEW OF EXCUSES FOR LACK OF ACHIEVEMENT. Luck is always out there somewhere and always out of our control. What we do control are our drive and commitment to excellence. We control preparation for the tasks at hand and opportunities on the horizon.
There is talk about why other women were not asked to join Augusta National. Other well-deserving women have been suggested. Unfortunately, the names of a few women who do not even play golf have also been lifted up. Come on! Condoleezza Rice is a former Secretary of State, first African American woman to be a Stanford University provost, professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and recently appointed to the U.S. Golf Association’s nominating committee. Darla Moore is the first woman profiled on the cover of Fortune Magazine, known to many of us during the 1980’s as the highest-paid woman in the banking industry, the University of South Carolina Business School is named after her – she gave the school 25 million dollars – and she is friends with several members of Augusta National.
Politics aside, they deserve congratulations!
- Cracks and holes do occur in long-standing walls of bigotry and intolerance.
- Cracks, chips, and holes are the result of persistent and determined action on the parts of internal and external forces.
- Preparation requires vigilance. Get ready and stay ready.
- When holes in the wall occur, run through.
- Once through the hole, remember you did not get there by yourself!