Community & Government

Meet Your Instructor

Bill Clinton

Lesson time 07:30 min

Reflecting on his time at the Oval Office, President Clinton welcomes you to his class, provides his personal definition of leadership, and outlines all the tools you’ll learn.

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

Topics include: President Bill Clinton Teaches Inclusive Leadership


 [CROWD NOISE] [METAL FLICKING] [MUSIC PLAYING] [PENCIL SCRAPING PAPER] [KNIFE SCRAPING] [FILMSTRIP FLICKING] BILL CLINTON: What does it mean to be a leader? I've pursued the answer to this question all my life. People tend to define leaders by their personality traits. Leaders are charismatic. - --leading for social change. - [NON-ENGLISH] BILL CLINTON: Leaders are courageous. Leaders are popular. - We need to hear your voice. BILL CLINTON: But leadership is about more than personality traits. - --on the basis of what we think is a basic constitutional right. BILL CLINTON: It's about what you do and how you do it. It's easy to look at the state of our world today and feel pessimistic, overwhelmed, even powerless. But I have tremendous faith in us and our ability to overcome what may seem like insurmountable obstacles. Great progress often comes in times of great adversity. These are challenges a leader should relish. We all share the responsibility to leave the world better than we found it, and we all possess within us the ability to lead. That requires us to listen as well as to speak, to see the humanity in others as we help them to see the humanity in us, and to act as agents of the change we hope to see in our world. [MUSIC PLAYING] A lot of people have different definitions of leadership. And frankly, leadership itself will change in some ways depending on who you're leading and where you're leading them. The dictionary definition of leadership is the exercise of initiative and authority in any sort of group of more than two, maybe more than one. My brand of leadership is inclusive, action-oriented, and people-centered. And I think that in an interdependent world, we need more people we consider us and fewer people we consider them. The best decisions are made by diverse groups. You can't have a diversity unless you're inclusive. And I believe that we should be working for outcomes that give us shared benefits and impose shared responsibilities. I believe that over the long run-- and I've lived long enough to talk about the long run now-- whether consciously or not, most of us will judge our lives in no small measure by the impact we had on other people. This is my approach because of the way I think the world works and the way I keep score. And this also is my approach to leadership because it works. I've seen time and time again how it works. But I don't believe being nice is inconsistent with being tough and smart. You got to be tough as nails with your tender heart. This is a particularly disorienting time for billions of people in the world. Just think what all is going on. You've got big debates over ethnic nationalism and exclusion as opposed to inclusion, big debates about the relative merits of democracy over authoritarianism. You've got major uncertainties about what's going to...

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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