Giuliani on Leadership

Content provided by a guest contributor.

worlds-best-boss-mug.jpgRudolph Giuliani, one of the ex-mayors of New York, is known for amongst others, drastically reducing crime and corruption in New York, and his response to the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers.

His book: “Leadership” makes for fascinating reading. He was effective due to years of learning, preparation and equipping himself and others to their job outstandingly.

There are too many lessons to cover adequately in a one page article so here are a few of the key ones:

  1. Every morning he started his day with a 1 hour meeting with his top staff. The main focus of the meeting was to get control of the day and prevent challenges from taking over. Meetings were short and to the point. Apart from dealing with what needed to be addressed, they were used to follow up and monitor progress. The smallest problem was seen as a red light and corrective action taken.
  2. Rudy surrounded himself with strong people who were competent, well qualified and experienced to do their jobs.
  3. His preparation was relentless; Rudy would pull in experts for advice, check any assumptions by getting the actual facts and accurate information, anticipate problems and how to solve them long before they occurred. He would prepare so thoroughly that he would be able to speak from the head and heart when dealing with masses, instead of having to refer to notes or documents.
  4. Rudy personally accepted accountability but also made every person accountable for their job so there was no chance of anyone passing the buck to a colleague or staff member.
  5. Systems were put in place to measure progress. These same systems were continuously challenged to ensure that they would remain effective. This way performance of teams and individuals was measured daily.
  6. Rudy followed the rule of “under promise but over deliver”. Making promises that you cannot keep eventually undermine a leader’s authority and others stop trusting the leader.
  7. He developed and communicated strong beliefs through developing a vision and then getting others passionate and on board.
  8. Rudy set an example through his own behaviour and was willing to do more than what he expected of others. He worked hard.
  9. Loyalty is a vital virtue: Rudy stood up and fought for his people and those who were under fire. He believed you need to make your support public. Loyalty needs to be established as a culture throughout an organisation.
  10. Show up at funerals and make your presence known in support or appreciation – to show that you care.
  11. Assert yourself with bullies. Do not back down from fights. Part of this point, is that Rudy felt if you were taking more than what you were entitled to from the system you were in, it was a form of bullying eg  claiming unnecessary expenses from the company.
  12. He became knowledgeable himself on whatever subject through doing his own reading and studying. This way he developed his own expertise which helped him sift through the input of others.

With everything he learnt, it is very obvious that Rudy Giuliani retained his humanity. Relationships counted for a lot. He didn’t just talk, he delivered.

Article written by Linda Germishuizen, Executive, Career and Life Coach.

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