Last week, I began a discussion on motivated leadership from a talk I heard by Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York during the 9/11 attacks. We discussed his conviction that leaders must have strong beliefs and goals. You must be an optimistic problem solver. You need to have courage to face the unexpected and you must be prepared to deal with the unexpected.
Learn from others wiser than yourself. Mr. Giuliani claims he changed more from his bout with prostate cancer than 9/11. Having to deal with cancer gave him more wisdom about the value of life and how little control we have sometimes over death. He believes we can spare ourselves some pain by learning from the wisdom of others. We learn from our parents, our friends and everyone we meet. We learn from those we don’t meet through study, prayer and reflection. He reads biographies of people he admires to see how they faced adversity. Wisdom can be gained from every conversation. “Courageous people are lifelong learners and apply wisdom from the difficult situations they encounter.”
Have compassion and love – look beyond yourself. He came to believe from his time as mayor that it is better to be respected than to be loved. However, the 9/11 attacks unlocked a compassion within him that he had previously only shared with this family. He discovered that revealing your love and compassion doesn’t weaken your leadership. It makes it stronger. Love helps us to look beyond what’s best for ourselves and focus on what’s best for others. “Love - not duty - is what makes a firefighter run into a flaming building to save someone he or she has never met.”
Mayor Giuliani’s thoughts are very important to one’s development as a true leader. There is no magic formula, of course. However, the choices you make, as our parents always told us, will have an impact on your life. Make those choices count, and develop your character.