Business, Community & Government

Civic Leadership: Get Involved

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lesson time 17:55 min

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.

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

Topics include: Think Critically About the Media You Consume · Dream for the Future: A National Service Program · The Citizen’s Most Important Duty: Voting · How to Choose the Best Candidate · What Shouldn’t Matter in a Candidate · The Power Is in Your Hands


[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: When you see one crisis unfold after another, whether it's killings in a synagogue, or whether it's a natural disaster, or whether it's what happened in El Paso, as horrible and terrible as these moments have been, always, there are people who rise in the local scene, whether they're the first responders, whether they're the doctors, whether it's people just coming to volunteer during a flood. And we'll say it time and time again. It's the best of America that comes out. It's not just the best of America. It's human nature to want to help in a situation like that. And it makes you feel, in a positive way, part of something terrible that's happened. So as bad as these things, and as terrible as they've made us feel, there's also a reminder that people rise to that challenge, and people really want to help, and people feel part of it. And for all of the complaints about the media, the media can shine a light on those moments. We can see what's happening, and you feel that empathy. What you need from people, more importantly than anything, in this time, in any time, is empathy. What is empathy but the ability to somehow feel what other people are feeling, to understand what they're thinking, to put yourself in their shoes, to be able to do that wherever you are. And when one of these crises takes place, it seems like that's when the human nature of all of us comes out in a better way. And there's a responsiveness that shows that we want to understand other people. We want to be part of their lives. We want to help them. And that's a really important trait to remember when we're feeling so overwhelmed by-- as it seems-- one natural or man-made disaster following another time after time after time. And then there's a sense, well, nothing changes. And yet something does change in the hearts of all those people that have helped out. They've probably been changed, and they're going to do something different in their lives because of having been part of that. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's such a hard time to be able to know what you can trust in the press that you're following, because if you have one ideology, you may be following one part of the press. If you have another, you may be following another. And then you hear completely alternative facts. The responsibility as a citizen is somehow to be able to sort out those facts, to see what sounds logical. Does this sound reasonable that this could have happened? And seek an alternative point of view. That's hard. The important thing, I think, is whatever source you're following, if you're willing to talk to people who follow another cable network and argue it out with them instead of just being in a silo and only listening to the people who follow the same cable network, or follow the same newspaper as you do, because then you're just going to make more intense your points of view, and you're going to see the other as the other. So if you're willin...

About the Instructor

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.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin teaches you how to develop the leadership qualities of exceptional American presidents.

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