Business, Community & Government

Successfully Leading a Team

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lesson time 13:52 min

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.

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

Topics include: Communicate Honestly With Your Team · Share Credit and Responsibility · Build Trust by Keeping Your Word · Give Your Team Members Room to Fail · Give Each Team Member Individual Attention · Manage Team Conflict · Set the Right Tone · Know When to Let People Go


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Most of the time, success in the world depends on collaborating with other people. And learning how to do that, learning how to listen, learning how to treat people with respect and with dignity, learning how to be humble in the space of when you needed to learn from them-- those are the human qualities we all need in our everyday life, and they just are magnified when you're becoming a leader of some great nation or some world power. If you treat them with respect, if you don't scream at them in public, if you take them aside and tell them what's wrong and what you've done wrong and right, if they feel free to argue with you without fear that you're gonna land on them for doing so, that's the way they'll treat one another. So a leader leads by example. It's maybe the most important thing a leader does, that the human qualities he or she shows-- whether they're bullying somebody or whether they're treating somewhat with respect, whether they listen to people or whether they just pile over them-- all of those things become indicators among the members of the team. How are we to treat one another? And then it becomes contagious. [MUSIC PLAYING] Think if you're a member of a team, what you hope for is that you can be honest with the other members of the team, honest with the team leader when you think something isn't being handled right, that you treat the other members of the team with dignity and respect, the same way you want the team leader to treat you, that you're willing to talk about why things went wrong. Being a member of a team is as important as being the team leader. A team can't function without the followers. So no matter where you are on this spectrum of team leader or team member, it's really the same human qualities that you want to exhibit toward the fellow members of the team, toward the leader, and toward creating a culture that knows that we can be straight with each other, but we're gonna be fighting for the common cause, and we're not gonna allow our divisions to not allow us to come to a joint agreement. And then once we've come to that, we'll back each other up. I think those are the qualities you're looking for. And we form teams in everything we do. Collaboration is part of everyday life. [MUSIC PLAYING] Generosity of spirit is another important human quality that becomes a leadership quality. And it's something as simple as sharing credit. Lincoln liked to say that everyone likes a compliment. So he would write handwritten letters to people in his inner circle, to people-- even if he were responsible for the success-- that praised them for what they had done. And that matters to people. There's a sense in which sometimes we forget to tell people they've done a wonderful job in our everyday lives, and it means so much to hear that from somebody. The flip side of that is if you're willing to share responsibility with the people around you when something goes wrong, rath...

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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