Most widely known for his calm, courageous, compassionate leadership during this time (Fisher, 2005), Giuliani
in fact has a long history in law and justice which were a precursor to the 9/11 attacks.
Graduating with honors from Law School, Giuliani began his career with the US Attorney’s Office as a Federal
Prosecutor. He then moved to the Justice Department to act under Ronald Regan as the Associate Attorney General, where he
supervised the Drug Enforcement Agency, the United States Marshals Service and other federal law enforcement agencies (Kopets,
Following this, Giuliani spent six years as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which led
to him to ascend to Mayorship in 1993. He held the Mayoral position for eight years, and was responsible for a city of 8 million. He cut crime by two thirds, moved 691,000 off the welfare rolls, boosted property
values and took on the city’s ‘mob’ head on. (Pooley, 2001)
However, people were tired of his Vesuvian temper and constant battles – against his political enemies,
against some of his own appointees, against the media and city funded museums, against black leaders, street vendors and jay
walkers. (Pooley, 2001)
An example of this is when he fired former Police Commissioner William Bratton because some believed the top
officer overshadowed him in battling crime. Those associated with him joked “the connected get protected", and surmised
that anytime anyone in the city looked to blow the whistle about Giuliani, he made them a target, so much so that his associates
became reluctant to say anything about his style until after his reign (Gamerman, 2004). This coercive power, generated through
his ability to ‘punish’ for non compliance, is limited in essence, and Giuliani’s initial popularity was
diminishing. (Dalglish, Dubrin & Miller, 2006, p.209)
However, his popularity peaked again as he fought and won a battle against prostate cancer, which he attributes
to giving him ‘more wisdom about the importance of life, the lack of control you have over death’ and removed
some of the fear he had of death (Pooley, 2001). However, this was only the start of Giuliani’s challenges, and within
a year he would be faced with the toughest test which could be placed onto a Mayor; that of the terrorist attack initiated
by Bin Laden on the World Trade Centre Twin Towers.
Giuliani won the respect of many American’s as well as great political leaders including Vladimir Putin,
Nelson Mandela, and Tony Blair, through his crisis management skills. Jacque Chirac named him ‘Rudy the Rock’
(Pooley, 2001). (Schanberg, 2003 states “He was a crisis mayor, near brilliant in convulsive events, such as terrorist
attacks.” The contingency theory of power suggests that these leaders would have been drawn to Giuliani’s perceived
power, which was developed through his centrality to the crisis. He was integral
in the rescue effort (physically and emotionally) and developed a high degree of power through this interaction.
However, not all American’s were as supportive of his leadership style. Perhaps tainted by grief, the minority
made comments such as. "Three thousand people murdered does not mean leadership." (Mittelstadt, 2004)
Throughout his challenges, it was Giuliani’s mistress, Judith Nathan, rather than his second wife, Donna
Hanover that stood next to him. Sparking ugly headlines and dueling press conferences (Pooley, 2001) the New York public were
once again dismissive of Giuliani’s leadership style. However, due to the intermittent reinforcement of his ‘positive’
leadership, the general public identified his efforts and demonstrated their support.
support was further reinforced when Time Magazine named him ‘Mayor of the World’ when he was awarded the Person
of the Year 2001 award. The magazine identified him as a ‘very human man who taught us superhuman courage’ (Pooley,
Thanks to this positive and intermittent reinforcement, Giuliani launched his leadership presentation roadshow.
It is easy to recognize why Giuliani has been identified as ‘conceited’, when he states "When people come to you
to ask for advice and information because you know more about a subject than they do, that’s a sign of great leadership,"
(Koch, 2004) He once again demonstrated this behaviour, stating "Read biographies of leaders you admire," he says. "That will
tell you more about leadership than any leadership book."
When defining leadership, Giuliani states “There are many qualities that make a great leader. But having
strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of
a great leader.” Although he lists fourteen principals in his book ‘Leadership’, when touring the world
and demanding up to $100,000 per lecture, he focused on these main five:
Strong beliefs: Giuliani believes “If you don’t have strong personal beliefs, you can’t lead
anyone.” After 9/11, President George Bush asked Giuliani “what can I do for you?” To this, Giuliani responded,
“If you catch this guy, Bin Laden, I would like to be the one to execute him.” Giuliani later stated he was serious.
“Bin Laden had attacked my city, and as Mayor I had a strong feeling that I was the most appropriate person to do it”.
(Kopet, 2003) He believes that once a decision has been made, you must stick to it, “but up until that time make it
clear that you’ll entertain changing your mind even on subjects that seem cut and dried. People should be ready to admit
when there is evidence to make them change their mind…that is an indication of intellectual honesty” (Sanow, 2003).
Optimism: “what if I would have come out in the beginning and I stood here and I said things are bad.
Things are very bad. They are only going to get worse. And there is no hope. Now, follow me” He said, “people
follow hope, they follow optimism. They follow someone who dreams. People are drawn to that. You have to enjoy life. Even
is we may be going through the worst of times, you have to enjoy life”(Skaer, 2004). Instead, he gave the nation hope.
He states "Look, in a crisis you have to be optimistic. When I said the spirit of the city would be stronger, I didn't know
that. I just hoped it” (Giuliani, 2004).
Courage: “Courage is seeing the danger, but then overcoming it to do the thing you have to do”.
Giuliani has great respect for firefighters, police officers, and soldiers because they “do something really extraordinary
for which we should step back and honor. They put their lives at risk to protect everybody, everyday”. (Skaer, 2004)
This courage was put to the test when the first tower collapsed and he and his aides were stuck inside a building near the
site, "there were times I was afraid. Everybody was. But the concentration was on. If I don't do what I have to do, everything
falls apart" (Pooley, 2001).
Relentless Preparation: In a city that has frequently referred to as ‘ungovernable’, Giuliani prepared
relentlessly, in a quest to overcome the city’s high crime rate. Examples of this are demanding daily crime mapping
and analysis and ‘the deployment of police resources to the areas of need as revealed by the data.’ (Siegel, 2004)
Under Giuliani’s ‘watch’ (1993 – 2001) murder, burglary, auto-theft and shootings declined by 70%
in New York, and a massive reduction of 93% in inmate-to-inmate violence in the city’s jails. (Siegel, 2004) In the
same fashion, Giuliani’s team spent a lot of time planning and simulating emergency situations, which, were used in
the 9/11 bombings. Giuliani believed the successful evacuation of 25,000 people from the twin towers was one of the ‘greatest
rescue operations in history’. (Siegel, 2004).
He also sees preparation on a personal level, and is an advocate for lifelong learning. He has created a training
course for government officials in how to tackle the challenges of managing America’s largest city. He also looks to
history to build his own values and ethics, and has been influenced by the likes of Ronald Reagan (Skaer, 2004) and Winston
Churchill. (Siegel, 2004) He has extensively researched Bin Laden, and met with Joseph Bodansky, author of ‘Bin Laden:
The Man Who Declared War on America, in an attempt to ‘learn more about the issues that had been forced upon the city’.
To this end, Giuliani states that you should always sweat the small things; “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.”
Teamwork: After the initial terrorist attack, Giuliani become the crisis manager, bringing together other powerful
‘heads’ from city, state, and federal governments for marathon daily meetings that got everyone working together.
In a news release, he noted the experience of his
team as turning the city into a "worldwide example of good government and effective management." This reinforcement demonstrated
to the team members that they were being effective and efficient, and gave them vision and built morale.
One of Giuliani’s favourite quotes
comes from Abraham Lincoln, “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come
to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that shall
be down inside me.” (Brooks, 2004)
Giuliani’s “Leadership” is written in the same like-it-or-not, this-is-the-way-it-is bluntness
that “New Yorkers come to expect from him as Mayor”. Kopets (2003) accredits this style to his upbringing, personality,
character, and even his own flaws. “He never wore a false face as a public official, or cloaked his intentions. Quite
the opposite: his critics charges him egotistical and vindictive” (Kopets, 2003). Raised in a family of fire fighters,
cops and criminals (his father was a con and his uncle a mob connected loan shark), he chose the path of righteousness. For
example, whilst serving as a prosecutor he was responsible for locking up Mafia bosses, crooked politicians and Wall Street
inside traders. But it wasn’t these victories, which gave him the most publicity; it was that of his vindictive nature
and thirst for publicity (Pooley, 2001). An example of this was the parading of two arrested Stockbrokers, past television
cameras. He later dropped the charges against the men, but his point was made.
Another highly publicized example is Giuliani's
reported failure to background check Bernard Kerik before he became commissioner of the largest police force (New York) in
the world. Kerik has been accused of using an apartment intended for exhausted 9/11 rescuers to meet two mistresses, getting
entangled with a construction company under investigation for alleged Mafia ties, hiding a third marriage from his much-publicized
life story and various other unethical actions. (Gamerman, 2004)
Siegel (2004) claims that Giuliani ‘suffers from the public figure’s tendency to claim what some
would call excessive credit for accomplishments that were not his alone. He does not dwell on what some saw as his unbecoming
effort to stay in office past the end of his term’. (Siegel, 2004) Reminiscent of Machiavellian tendencies, in which
leaders manipulate others in order to gain a personal advantage (Dalglish, et al. 2006, P., 221). Schanberg (2003), suggests
“some of the copious credit Giuliani received should have gone to his first Police Commissioner, William Bratton, whom
Giuliani fired when Bratton began receiving some credit in the press”.
However, this directive style, which emphasizes planning, organizing, and controlling, was not demonstrated
through the attack period. He developed a more supportive style, which centres on the well being of the group members. He
displayed considerable support for his people and he enhanced morale when the nation was feeling violated (Dalglish, et al.
2006, P.221). He recognised the areas of which he had control, and through the before mentioned communication channels, showed
American’s that he too, was feeling the same emotion, but at the same time, gave them the hope that they as a nation
Dalglish et al. (2006, p.5) states that the most common characteristic of leaders is their ability to inspire
and stimulate others to achieve worthwhile goals. Giuliani best demonstrated his leadership ability when he was inspiring
the American public to gather the strength necessary to charge through the crisis at hand, and prove to the world that terrorism
could not stop America, and in particular, New York.
He did this by wearing the ‘9 hats’ that classify the leadership function. He acted as a figurehead by being the ‘face’ of the crisis. He attended all of the appropriate ceremonies. He acted
as the spokesperson, appearing on television, the radio and in person to project his message of hope. He negotiated resources, both human and financial, to aid the relief effort, and coached
all of those involved by giving positive reinforcement, and feedback. He helped to build
a team which he acted part of, through his recognition and involvement of all
party members in all communication briefings. He kept abreast of all developments and studied terrorism to ensure that he
could act as a technical problem solver, and with this information, acted as an entrepreneur
in order to keep the nation moving forward, taking the appropriate risks along the way. This strategic plan worked toward the nation’s ultimate goal through the use of national governmental policies.
(Dalslish et al, 2006, p.11)
Throughout this, he demonstrated traits, which aligned with that of a task related leader that is, self-awareness,
self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. However, he was also able to demonstrate emotional intellect, using
the ability to manage his emotions in order to successfully lead.
Known for his volatile temper and withering sarcasm, the mayor earned a reputation for being self-righteous
and ruthless in his criticism of those with whom he disagreed; therefore relating to the task instead of the interpersonal
aspect seemed to be a logical stance for Giuliani. He became “America’s homeland security boss, giving calm, information
briefings about the attacks and the extraordinary response. He was the gutsy decision maker, balancing security against symbolism,
overruling those who wanted to keep the city buttoned up tight” (Pooley, 2001). He
demonstrated that he was able to adapt to the situation particularly in the absence
of President Bush, and through this adaptability, gave direction to
not only the relief workers, but the entire nation. He made it clear from the first press conference that there was only one
end to this crisis, and expected high performance standards. Quoting Giuliani (2003), “Tomorrow New York is going to be here, and we’re going to rebuild, and
we’re going to be stronger than we were before…I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the
country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.” And he acted on these words, often at the centre
of the action, whether at Ground Zero (the name given to the World Trade Centre rubble), at press conferences, funerals, and
communication briefings. Through these, he gave feedback to the public and relief workers and as such, acted as a stabilizer; acting as a calm and controlled role model for all Americans. Dalglish, et al (2006, p.63) states
that “when the leader remains calm, group members are reassured that things will work out.” However, Giuliani
redefined this trend, and wearing his heart on his sleeve. America identified with Giuliani’s empathy and tears, and
soon realised they had to accept the reality, harshness and emotion of the attack. However, when required, Giuliani took the
hard road, asked the tough questions, and at times, acted as the Devil’s
Advocate to ensure that the high performance standards could be achieved.