"They have not taken our spirit." -- Rudolph W. Giuliani, in memorial address to the New York City Fire Department, September 16, 2001.

Leadership

By Rudolph W. Giuliani.
New York City: Hyperion, 2001.
Copyright 2001 Rudolph W. Giuliani.

On September 11, 2001, the United States of America was attacked by the Islamic radical organization Al Qaeda in an act of undeclared war. The events following the destruction of the World Trade Center towers placed Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York City in the national spotlight. By all accounts, he performed superbly, leading the people of New York to reconstruct their shattered lives.

"For having more faith in us than we had in ourselves, for being brave when required and rude where appropriate and tender without being trite, for not sleeping and not quitting and not shrinking from the pain all around him, Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of the World, is TIME 2001 Person of the Year." -- TIME Magazine

Published in 2002, after the end of Giuliani's term as mayor, Leadership is a synopsis of the methods that Giuliani used throughout his time as a prosecutor, deputy Attorney General, and mayor of the world's largest city to lead people and accomplish goals. As one of the most effective mayors the New York City has ever seen, his advice seems to be worth reading. In fact, throughout the book every principle Giuliani states is supported by numerous statistical citations, showing how that particular principle helped practically improve New York City.

The book begins with a preface by Giuliani, followed by a chapter detailing the hours immediately following the impact of the airliners on September 11th. The next 14 chapters detail one principle of leadership each. They are:

  1. First Things First
  2. Prepare Relentlessly
  3. Everyone's Accountable, All of the Time
  4. Surround Yourself with Great People
  5. Reflect, Then Decide
  6. Underpromise and Overdeliver
  7. Develop and Communicate Strong Beliefs
  8. Be Your Own Man
  9. Loyalty: The Vital Virtue
  10. Weddings Discretionary, Funerals Mandatory
  11. Stand Up to Bullies
  12. Study. Read. Learn Independently
  13. Organize Around a Purpose
  14. Bribe Only Those Who Will Stay Bribed

Each of these is clearly worthy of its own node. (Hint, hint.)

The final chapter in the book details how Giuliani applied all of his principles of leadership in helping to reconstruct New York City after the devastating attacks. It is clear how each of the principles was put to immediate and effective use in the events following September 11th. Finally, the appendices include a transcript of Giuliani's memorial speech to the Fire Department (quoted above) on September 16, 2001, and a "Before and After" comparison of the changes Giuliani effected while mayor.

The book is well-written, clear, and informative. It is my judgment, based on the statistics and Giuliani's demonstrable skill in leading his people through their greatest crisis, that the information contained in the book is of far greater worth than the book's $25.95 price tag. I will pay close attention to Giuliani's methods throughout my life.

Lead"er*ship (?), n.

The office of a leader.

 

© Webster 1913.

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