Community & Government

Leading Teams

Bill Clinton

Lesson time 12:20 min

Finding the right talent is just the beginning. Learn how to earn the respect of the individuals you lead and how to unite them toward a common goal.

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

Topics include: Share Credit, Own Mistakes · Empower People to Disagree With You · Create Camaraderie · Demonstrate That You Care


[MUSIC PLAYING] - A part of being a leader is assembling the team, but actually, once you get one, you have to lead it. So the question, again, is, how do you lead it? Now as I've said, I think you've got to ground them on where we are, and where we want to go, and how we're going to get there. But I also believe that while you're doing the big plans, it's important never to forget all the other aspects of work that most enterprises have. And when you do it, if you do it well, and you make it fun, if you can, you build a certain camaraderie that makes it easy to keep cooperating, to keep being creative, to keep looking for ways to push the rock up the hill. So first of all, a good leader will share the credit when something good happens. Hardly anything worth doing can be done alone. And then if you're trying, you're going to make mistakes, and a good leader will assume responsibility for the mistakes and not look for a scapegoat. And sometimes they're nobody's fault. I remember when we were trying to save the Kosovars in 1999, and we bombed Serbia for more than 75 days before it finally led to an end to the conflict and we were able to bring a million people home. I thought what we were doing was right, but I never will forget we tried to be so careful on the targets. And yet one day, we bombed a bridge that we believed-- our people believed would be used by the Serbian military to crush the Kosovars. But on this-- at the time we bombed the bridge, they said, nobody will be on this bridge. You got two hours to bomb it. Nobody will be on it. So after the bomb is released, coming toward its target, a school bus full of 68 Kosovo Albanians seeking safe passage out of the country was on that bridge and they were killed. The very people we were fighting for, who we were told would not be there, were there. Now what does that tell you? There may be mistakes which cannot or could not have been prevented. And then you have to decide whether the price that was paid was worth it for the benefits that you seek. And it's very important, if you got people into this, not to blame somebody else unless somebody really did mess up. But just because there's somebody between you and the decision of, I recommend you bomb, or here's the information about when people use this bridge and there won't be anybody now, it's still important not to blame other people because you make the initial decision. You say, we want the people of Kosovo to be able to be free and free of fear and free of terror. We are prepared to use force. We want to minimize force, which is why there's only an air campaign and we are very careful about the targets. But you have to know when you start dropping bombs, and shooting guns, and firing off missiles that it's more likely than not that innocent people will die along with those who are combatants. And it's important to shoulder that responsibility. [MUSIC PLAYING] As a leader, I thi...

About the Instructor

Commander in chief from 1993 to 2001, Bill Clinton has spent a lifetime navigating complex challenges and bridging deep divides. Now the 42nd president of the United States teaches you how to be an effective, empathetic leader. Learn how to assemble, inspire, and empower diverse teams, mediate conflict, manage criticism—and create a personal framework to guide you and your team toward a shared vision.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Bill Clinton

Drawing from his career in politics, President Bill Clinton teaches you how to inspire diverse teams, manage criticism, and mediate conflict.

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