Doris Kearns GoodwinTeaches U.S. Presidential History and Leadership

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Topics covered in class

Each class includes an in-depth, downloadable workbook.

1. Introduction

Meet your instructor: Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and bestselling author Doris Kearns Goodwin. She talks about why she’s excited to teach this class, how she came to love history, and her path to becoming a presidential historian.

2. How People Become Great Leaders

Looking at the early lives of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ, Doris discusses whether leaders are born or made and why great leaders have ambition for something bigger than themselves.

3. More Important Than IQ: Emotional Intelligence

Doris delves into the character traits that make up emotional intelligence, including humility, empathy, and resilience. She also shares Lincoln’s secret trick for dealing with anger and frustration.

4. Successfully Leading a Team

Doris discusses the building blocks for leading a team well, including honest communication, sharing credit, building trust, allowing for failure, and paying attention to the needs of individual team members.

5. Forging Key Partnerships

Don’t shy away from putting rivals on your team, advises Doris. She explains how to complement your weaknesses with strengths from team members, allow for differences of opinion, and create a culture of respect and honesty.

6. The Importance of Relaxing and Recharging

Using examples from the lives of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ, Doris illustrates why recharging is essential for leadership, especially for solving complex problems and making high-stakes decisions with a clear mind.

7. Making Informed Decisions

Doris shares how some of the greatest presidents have made consequential decisions and how we can use their approach in our own lives. She also talks about how to heal divisions and build consensus.

8. Navigating Crises

Doris discusses the role she believes leaders should take in a crisis and how they should console their constituencies, sharing a case study on Teddy Roosevelt’s management of the 1902 Coal Crisis.

9. Delivering Your Message

Doris talks about how leaders must tailor the way they communicate to the most popular mediums of the time. She also discusses how she believes presidents and citizens should interact with the press.

10. Finding Your Voice

Doris shares the journey of her late husband, presidential speechwriter and adviser Richard Goodwin, who devoted his life to civil service. She also shares Richard’s draft of LBJ’s most famous speech on civil rights.

11. Writing History

Doris explains her approach to studying and writing about history, including how she collaborated with Steven Spielberg on the film Lincoln.

12. Profiles in Leadership

Doris examines what made George Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr. such effective leaders.

13. Civic Leadership: Get Involved

Emphasizing the impact of great leadership on the United States, Doris encourages us all to be active and engaged citizens. She also describes which qualities matter and which don’t when it comes to voting for candidates.

14. Legacy: The Power of Storytelling

Doris reinforces the importance of sharing stories as a way to seek connection and build legacies, and she offers a parting message of inspiration and hope.

15. Bonus: Advice for Future Presidents

For anyone who dreams of running for president someday, Doris provides words of wisdom and encouragement.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Teaches U.S. Presidential History and Leadership

For more than 50 years, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has studied great American presidents. Now the Pulitzer Prize winner teaches you leadership through the lens of U.S. presidential history. With timeless stories of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ, Doris shares practical wisdom and a template for honing leadership skills. Manage a crisis, craft a message, and guide a team like extraordinary leaders of the past.

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