by Rudolph W. Giuliani

Hardcover, 2002



Rudolph Giuliani demonstrates in [this book] how the leadership skills he practices can be employed successfully by anyone who has to run anything. After all, until the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center pushed him into an unwanted role in history, Giuliani was only months away from leaving office with a reputation as one of the most effective mayors New York had ever seen. Having inherited a city ravaged by crime and crippled in its ability to serve its citizens, Giuliani shows how he found that every aspect of his career up to that point from clerking for the formidable judge who demanded excellence (and rewarded it with a lifetime of loyalty) to busting organized crime during his years as a federal attorney shaped his thinking about leadership and prepared him for the daunting challenges ahead. Giuliani's successes in turn strengthened his conviction about the core qualities required to be an effective leader, no matter what the size of the organization, be it an international corporation or a baseball team. In detailing his principles of leadership, Giuliani tells captivating stories that are personal as well as prescriptive: how he learned the importance of staying calm in the face of attack from his father's boxing lessons as well as the need to stand up to bullies; how a love of reading was early instilled in him by his mother and grew into a determination to master new subjects, and not rely on only the word of experts; how, in his recent fight with prostate cancer, learning to make decisions at the right time and with the right information reflected decision-making on a larger scale. [In the book], Giuliani writes, works both ways: it is a privilege, but it carries responsibilities from imposing a structure suitable to an organization's purpose, to forming a team of people who bring out the best in each other, to taking the right, unexpected risks ... He never knew that the qualities he describes would be put to the awful test of September 11, he says; but he never doubted that they would prevail.-Dust jacket.… (more)


(107 ratings; 3.6)

User reviews

LibraryThing member JBD1
Giuliani's required post-9/11 book. Forgettable.
LibraryThing member uryjm
Frustrated that my brain is stagnating, and wanting to make a change in work, life and who knows what else, I turned to some serious writing to see if I could learn anything.
Not from this I couldn’t. The Mayor has a particular style and a particular job which, over a hundred pages into it, I was finding difficult to apply to anything I did. I began to suspect that he had leadership qualities but was finding it difficult himself to understand why! So the book is sitting unfinished at the moment, although I may return to it.… (more)
LibraryThing member eburcat
Read this book more than 3 years ago, to date I remember many of his stories.
Great inspiration.
LibraryThing member kitten-a-gogo
I was originally required to read this book as part of a class i was taking in college. At first i was not excited about it, but as soon as i picked it up I could not put it down i have always been a fan of Giuliani since Before 9/11 and after reading this book I found him to be inspireing. I kept this book after the class was over and to this day still have it and have recommended it to many others.… (more)
LibraryThing member tmstimbert
Glad to have read it.
LibraryThing member shadowofthewind
Leadership GulianiKnow the basics of how stuff works, just don't get mired in the details: Knowing the small details of a large system leaves a leader open to charges of micromanaging. But understanding how something works is not only a leader's responsibility; it also makes him or her better able to let people do their jobs. If they don't have to explain the basics of what they need and why they need it every time they request more funds or different resources, then they are freer to pursue strategies beyond simply spending what they're given.P. 46Early decisive victories over things you can clearly control.Whenever I start a small endeavor, I looked to have a clear, decisive victory as early as I could. It needn't have been a large initiative, and, in fact, was usually better if the problem was small enough so that it was easily understood and yielded an unambiguous solution. P.40Never assume, always prepareAs my own career progressed, I realized that preparation--thus eliminating the need to make assumptions--was the single most important key to success. Leaders may possess brilliance, extraordinary vision, fate, even luck. Those help; but no one, no matter how gifted, can perform without careful preparation, thoughtful experiment, and determined follow-through. P. 52Clear accountability, easily understood and traceable.All enterprises benefit from increased accountability. Naturally, there are difficulties in the way agencies achieve it. A corporation might not want to share its internal performance numbers widely, lest people who leave that information to a competing firm. In corporate America, at the core of many recent high profile Business collapses was a failure of accountability throughout top management. There will be endless debate over the specifics of "what went wrong" at these companies. What they share in common, however, is a refusal at the top to accept resonsibility for mistakes. "I don't understand this or that accounting procedure" is not a valid excuse--it's the duty of a leader to understand. If a chief executive cannot understand his own enterprise, he must become better informed, or consider the very real possibility that the accounting technique really is too complicated and ought to be replaced by one that's more transparent. P.91 Fact based decision making is critical, but don't be a robotImportant, complicated decisions require both statistical analysis and intuition. Statistics can provide the necessary data, but unless you apply your own intuition, gathered from your own experience, you a just a computer spitting out formulas. P. 154You are the executive, execute!...the leader should go ahead and lead--not in an arrogant way, and not without abundant input from others. But the fact is, a leader who fails to act until every group is heard from, every concern addressed, every lawsuit resolvedis a leader who's abdicating his responsibility. P.164Don't tolerate people who are just there to create selfish disruptions. If it is for the good of the whole, great, if not root it out.However, there is a line between spirited discourse and hijacking an open meeting for selfish purposes.We had some contentious meetings, with yelling and screaming and demonstrating. One time, a group handcuffed themselves to chairs, and had to be removed. So from the beginning I established a rule: you can ask any question you want. I will let you complete your question. I will not interrupt you, no matter how angry and upset I get. In exchange, you have to listen to my answer respectfully, without interrupting. And if don't, you are first warned, then thrown out, because I won't let you disrupt the other 400 people there. P.246Don't leave it up to the expertsAny good leader must develop a substantive base. No matter how talented your advisors and deputies, you have to attack challenges with as much a your own knowledge as possible. That does not mean a mayor must know more about disease than his health commissioner or more about the intricacies of municipal finance than his budget director. The head of a restaurant company might not be a master chef, and plenty of airline executives are not qualified pilots, let alone mechanics or baggage handlers. But a leader should have independently acquired understanding of the areas he oversees. Anybody who's going to take on a large organization must put time aside for deep study. P.290Don't let emotions carry the day, but don't be afraid to show your feelings. From my early childhood days, I had trained myself to control my emotions when others became emotional. My father had always told me to remain calm in a crisis. As others around me got excited, he said, staying deliberately calm would help me figure out the right answers. When a crisis occurred, it was my job to lead people t rough it. That certainly didn't mean I didn't have feelings. Of course I did. And it didn't mean I couldn't show what I was feeling. Of course I could.Leaders are human, and it actually helps the people you lead to realize that. P. 361… (more)


Hyperion (2002), Edition: 1st, 407 pages

Original publication date





0786868414 / 9780786868414


Original language

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