William J. ClintonThe Fortitude and Folly of theSelf DomainWagish Bhartiya3/29/2012
Clinton created lasting impact through hisprofessional endeavorsCareer Highlights:• Elected 42nd president of the United States at age 46• Remade the Democratic Party to offset “Reagan Revolution”• Oversaw longest and one of the largest economic expansions in US history• Key domestic accomplishments – home ownership, low unemployment, rising test scores, college enrollment expansion, public school internet access, lowered crime rate, shrank poverty and welfare, reduced teen birth rate, lowered income taxes• Since leaving public office, active philanthropist and speaker including Tsunami and Katrina relief efforts• William J Clinton Foundation - public health, climate change, poverty alleviation, religious and ethnic conflict
Clinton’s early life experiences created parallel lives -Self vs. Professional DomainsEarly life influences• Partially raised by grandparents who strongly believed in equality despite living in segregated South• Cried alone during “I Have a Dream” speech – ability to empathize• Political idol – John F Kennedy – asked how he could serve others / his country• Baptist calling – woke up, dressed himself, and walked to church solo• Alcoholic step-father who abused mother and step-brother All my life I’ve been interested in other people’s stories. I wanted to know them, understand them, feel them. When I grew up into politics, I always felt the main point of my work was to people a chance to have better stories.
However, his political rise was powered by values and family• Strong sense of duty and obligation• Desire to improve the lives of others Self• Belief in equality and opportunity for all people• Understanding that everyone is talented and worthwhile Family Professional • Supported and nurtured by mother and grandparents • Found an unflinching ally in Hillary Rodham who flamed his ambition • Undeniably talented politician / policy • Strong, caring relationship for master daughter Chelsea • Forged deep personal connections that advanced his career We cannot build our own future without • Tenaciously fought for what he helping others to build theirs. believed in against political opponents / acted with intent
Lesson #1 – Leverage potency of personal conviction and beliefs to propel your career and beyond Grit: Ability to overcome life’s obstaclesPurpose: Grounding Inspiration: Motivatein something greater Conviction & others to act forthan individual Personal Belief themselves and on your behalf Fuel: Source of endless passion, energy, and fireClinton was able to overcome sizable obstacles and setbacks throughout his lifebecause of his unwavering conviction in what was right and his unflinchingvision of self
Lesson #2 – Understand the importance of reflectionin fostering self-control and restraint Chaotic inner world / emotional turmoil Fear, desire, envy, anxiety Professional, Familial, andClinton’s personal demons sabotaged Social Excellencea brilliant career, pushed his family tothe brink, and threatened friendships Growth, impact, performanceBrilliance and sheer talent areinsufficient; how do we understandthe emotions that drive us to act(good and bad)?
Lesson #3 – Align passion with values, abilities, stakeholders, and career to create congruence Who / what really Self What values drive me? matters to me? What will I fight for? Community Professional Family Where are my talents What types of roles / best served for lasting actions does my family impact? support?For the most part, Clinton was / has been able to establish alignment between hisdomains and find a meaningful place for himself. Consequently, he has been ableto leave an imprint on the world