I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to hear Mr. Rudolph Giuliani discuss his visions on leadership. Mr Giuliani is the former mayor of New York, and after the 9/11 attacks became known as “America’s Mayor” as a result of his performance during that crisis. I’d like to share some of his vision with you this week.
He believes that to be a strong leader you must have strong beliefs and goals. He remembers that President Ronald Reagan had two unflinching beliefs that he applied to his role as president – Communism is evil and his faith in God. Giuliani decided early in his life to apply his own faith to real-world situations, which meant fighting for what was right and moral. As a prosecutor he went after the Mafia and corruption even though it was very dangerous to do so.
Be an optimist and a problem solver. After 9/11, he had some doubts about how the spirit of the city would survive the disaster. But he shoved those doubts out of his mind and took an optimistic approach. Pessimistic leaders, he knew, always fail. “Fear paralyzes. Hope mobilizes.”
Courage will overcome fear, and unexpected things will happen. Obstacles appear in your path every day. At each obstacle you are forced to choose. How will you react? Each time you dig in and get the job done, you make progress and prepare yourself for the next test. Determination inspires others.
Be prepared for the unexpected. During the attack, he was trapped when the first tower collapsed. He tried to escape through the basement, but the doors were locked. He told himself “Keep your composure. Focus on the next choice. Make it a wise one.” Don’t sweat the small stuff, the saying goes. If you worry about the small day-to-day events, you won’t be prepared for the big ones.
Next week we’ll look at more of Mr. Giuliani’s leadership thoughts.