Scott Hodge


Giuliani on Leadership

Mar 1, 2006

A few years ago I read Rudy Giuliani’s book, Leadership, and was encouraged and inspired by it.  His approach on accountability and how that played a huge role in changing NYC was huge for me when we began our work of transition at the Orchard.

Recently, Giuliani spoke at a leadership conference hosted by the Center for Creative Leadership where he shared six important leadership principles.  They were reprinted on their website.  Here they are:

  • Develop strong beliefs: Leaders must define their core beliefs and stick to them in order to achieve long-term goals and visions. Leaders who focus more on popularity than principle risk becoming mired in day-to-day challenges while losing sight of the larger picture, Giuliani said. He cited Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King, Jr. as two individuals who exemplified this principle. Reagan entered politics with two big ideas: that Communism was evil and needed to be confronted rather than appeased, and that American government was too large and discouraged individual initiative. He developed those ideas at a time when others didn’t agree. But Reagan stuck with his beliefs and ultimately created major change, particularly by hastening the collapse of the Soviet Union, Giuliani said. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that nonviolent protest would advance civil rights in the United States. He cultivated this philosophy through study and prayer, prompting tremendous social change as a result.

  • Be an optimist: "When you can visualize success, it helps you figure out the steps to get there," Giuliani said. Optimism can be "a magnet that motivates people to follow." Reagan and King, for example, both faced stark realities – the Soviet empire and the lack of equality for African Americans – and envisioned a brighter future. Winston Churchill did exactly the same thing in rallying his country against Hitler during the Battle of Britain. Thinking of Churchill’s perseverance during World War II "helped me get through Sept. 11th," Giuliani said.
  • Have courage: A lot of people assume that they are not courageous because they feel fear. But "to be courageous you must have fear," Giuliani said. "Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the management of fear." Fear, he believes, can be a strong motivating factor. "We should be afraid of another terrorist attack," he said, "but we should use that energy positively and courageously" to work on prevention and preparation.
  • Relentless preparation: Leaders must make an enduring commitment to anticipating obstacles and opportunities and readying for them. New York City, he said, had never prepared for precisely what happened on Sept. 11

2 Responses to “Giuliani on Leadership”

  1. Gemma Grace says:

    Excellent perspective :)

  2. nachtengel says:

    Giuliani was an american fascist.
    I moved to NYC the year he was voted in and watch him destroy every aspect of the city that represented creativity and free speech (not to mention removing street vendors, and pushing drugs out of tourist spots and into the nice residential neighborhoods like mine)
    On top of this he never invested a single dollar to the sillicon alley .com industry, or gave tax breaks of any kind, making it really hard for those companies with good ideas but not 50 million in capital. While the .coms really did a lot of stupid things with their money, small startup could have really used the help.
    At the same time he set up the path for real estate to go so high that people are still feeling it’s reprucusion.
    This single person has dealt on of the largest blows to the history of american creativity, at a time when the city could have really used a resurgance.
    If you lived in NYC and cared anything at all about any of the above, you wouldn’t care if the guy died homeless in the street (as i’m sure many did under his lack of leadership).
    The man never stepped up to the plate until the last hour of his tour, during 9-11. And even then he took credit for more then he had anything to do with.

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