Business, Politics & Society

Getting the Work Done: Anna’s Management Tips

Anna Wintour

Lesson time 9:08 min

Anna walks through the management techniques—including how to build and manage a team, and how to give feedback—that have helped her be an effective leader.

Anna Wintour
Teaches Creativity and Leadership
Anna Wintour gives unprecedented access to her world, teaching you how to lead with vision and creativity—and without apology.
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[MUSIC - ALIBI MUSIC, "AUTUMN ROSE"] ANNA WINTOUR: Being a leader means having a strong vision. Being a leader means understanding and responding to criticism. Being a leader means making the tough decisions and taking full responsibility for them. And being a leader means hiring a great team and always giving them credit. In this chapter, I'm going to talk to you about my leadership style and the management techniques that have worked best for me over the years. You are nothing, nothing, without a good team. So I have always tried to surround myself with people that I enjoy, the people whose opinions I respect, whose minds I respect, whose taste I respect, that isn't always in line with mine, that can do things that I couldn't possibly dream of doing, that also can shock me. I have learned to love a surprise, that however much you might talk to an editor about what a shoot or a piece might be, when it comes in, it could be something completely different. And sometimes that's completely OK. It's great to have a team that stays with you. And you grow together. And you become, like, second nature to each other. I think it helps me think through the bigger picture. It gives me a different point of view. They can point out times of danger. They can say, we're not doing enough of this. Maybe this will be taken the wrong way. I think it's really, really important to have as diverse a group of people in terms of opinion, or backgrounds, age as you possibly can, because it helps inform all the judgments that you make. It helps inform the content that you put out there. And it helps make "Vogue" better. [MUSIC PLAYING - ALIBI MUSIC, "PROMISED WALKS"] It's so important to look for someone who is a self-starter, who you feel can make decisions on your behalf, that is going to be a wonderful ambassador for you and your business. I think it's also important to make sure you find someone who is discreet, who is loyal, who is positive, who is a straight talker, but also is passionate about the world that they are about to enter, not someone who might be seeing it just as a stepping stone to something else. I am always thinking, can this person have a career? If not at "Vogue," can they have a career at Conde-Nast or within the industry? Because of course, they're investing in us, but we're also investing a lot of time in them. [MUSIC - ALIBI MUSIC, "AUTUMN ROSE"] I have a pretty consistent structure for my day that I find works really well for me. I wake up early, between 4:00 and 5:30. I read both the British and the American papers online so I know what's happening. I often play tennis. I eat breakfast consisting of Starbucks. I head to the "Vogue" offices. And I usually arrive between 8:00 and 8:30. I could have meetings with my fashion editors, my features editors, or the digital team. I could be reviewing pictures that are coming from a recent shoot, or reviewing clothes to be photographed for an upcoming cover. I le...

How to be a boss

A fashion and media icon, Anna Wintour has been driving our cultural conversation for more than 30 years. The Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Artistic Director of Condé Nast takes off her signature sunglasses and gives you unprecedented access to her world. See how Anna nurtures talent, makes bold decisions, and evolves a brand. Learn how to lead with impact from a visionary creative leader.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I'm not into fashion like that. However, I take inspiration by anyone who is a proven effective leader. There are many things to take from this class that transcend any particular industry and relate directly with how I can be a more effective leader in my own.

I liked her advice to take time to develop ones talent, voice and point of view. It comes with exposure on many levels. Learn and gain experience.

I really appreciate Mrs. Wintour's time and participation on sharing her career experiences with the Master Class. I learned a lot and found this class very helpful in my own career.

Masterclass's greatest contribution is installing self-belief and confidence because you are inspired by real leaders who each had to start from the same place as the rest of us.


Mandy K.

I've always thought that a good leader is the one who makes all the decisions and has everything under his control, but Anna's approach that gives everyone the opportunity to express themselves makes the leader more accessible, inspires confidence and gives members of the team the motivation to develop themselves and work harder. Also the importance of empowering your team is very crucial.


Powerful foundational lesson as I strongly believe “We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training. Archilochus’ and dare I say that the daily habits and routines we have are the equivalent of that training. Systems are everything... well assuming we build, nurture, and challenge great teams. A good leader I once served reminded me that despite the business and profession we are in, it’s always about the PEOPLE.

Christine A E.

Key points on obversataonal culture, and particularly sub-cultures and bringing those points into a fashion focus. Love it!

Suze Yalof S.

I used to think Anna’s leadership style was fear based but now I realize that it was just efficiency and keeping it simple. Love in the end when she said this doesn’t work for every editor but it works for me. So brilliant!

Angelo A.

To choose a great team that you can work with and trust, to have a diverse group of people from different background and age who can help you. Discrete,loyal,positive and straight talker. Empowering people who work for you and give them the chance to make decisions and no micromanaging. In meetings give them the chance to give there point of view and feel part of the conversation so everything can get done on time. Being clear, decisive, fast, direct and learn to say no.

Clay A.

Not at all involved with fashion but creativity is creativity. Leadership is leadership, even if it’s leading yourself.

A fellow student

To be clear, exact and not to waste time. To make people know where they are.

Tarik S.

Great advice. Some takes aways ~ Get to the point with people and let them know whats going on quickly. ~Get back to people as soon as you can, people tend to move faster this way

Francisco B.

People work much better when the feedback is fast, direct, honest and they know where they are

Whitney G.

Say 'no' AND give a reason -- then move on! I tend to be too conversational and overthink decisions. I'll have this phrase on my desk to always remind me.