The purpose of this research is to explore how former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City became an extraordinary legend in leadership before, during and after 9/11, and how he became the Mayor of NYC. The research compiled for the first section of the paper will concentrate on his early days. What type of leader he was while serving the public in various political positions to when he served as mayor of New York City and later how his leadership values and qualities served New Yorkers to remain calm and strong after the horrific terrorist attacks on American soil during and after 9/11. Giuliani’s background will cover his education and past public offices to the time he became mayor of New York City up to 2001 of his eight year term.
The next area will follow with research comparing Giuliani’s leadership with the Five Factor Personality Transformational Leadership Model to describe the traits a leader should possess as Giuliani had during his service to the people nationwide before, during, and after 9/11. Another reflection on his leadership will be comparing his leadership qualities with the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model, and his own views on leadership and how they pinpoint every aspect of the two models described. The balance of the research will be to note his admirers in leadership from the past, and the events that occurred before, during, and after 9/11 describing how his leadership qualities enabled him to become a legendary leader in our nation’s time of crisis.
In 1944 Rudolph W. Giuliani was born to a working class family in Brooklyn, NY. His cultural background was of Italian decent and he learned a strong work ethic and a deep respect for America’s ideal of equal opportunity. He attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School (Class of ’61) in Brooklyn, Manhattan College (Class of ’65) in the Bronx and New York University Law School in Manhattan, graduating magna cum laude in 1968. After his graduation he clerked for Judge Lloyd Mac Mahon, US District Judge for the Southern District of NY. In 1970 he joined the office of the US Attorney. At age 29 he was named Chief of Narcotics Unit and rose to serve as executive US Attorney. In 1975, Giuliani was recruited to Washington, D.C. where he was named Associate Deputy Attorney General and chief of staff to the Deputy Attorney General (A Biography of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, n.d.). From 1977 to 1981, Giuliani returned to New York to practice law at Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler. In 1981 he was named Associate Attorney General, the third highest position in the Department of Justice (A Biography of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, n.d.). In 1983 Giuliani was appointed US Attorney General for the Southern District of New York, where he spearheaded the effort to jail drug dealers, fight organized crime, break the web of corruption in government, and prosecute white-collar criminals. Few US Attorneys in history can match his record of 4,152 convictions with only 25 reversals. In 1989 he entered the race for mayor of New York City as a candidate of the Republican and liberal parties, losing by the closest margin in city history (Biography of Mayor Giuliani). In 1993, his campaign focusing on quality of life, crime, business and education made him the 107th Mayor of the City of New York. In 1997 he was re-elected by a wide margin, carrying four out of New York City’s five boroughs (A Biography of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, n.d.).
Current Thinking – Research and Analysis
His background shows how long he was in a leadership position, the experience and the major areas he did for the city while mayor, shows how his honor during and after 9/11 should be admired and honored. As an American lawyer, businessman, public speaker, and former mayor of New York City, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani served as mayor during the September 11 attacks in 2001 (A Biography of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, n.d.). His historical background led him to believe and learn many powerful leadership quotes. One of his quotes is that leaders need to be optimists. Their vision is beyond the present. Another quote is to be yourself, and you have to be honest with people. If your views change on something you have got to be willing to express it. When you confront a problem you begin to solve it. His definition of a leader is, “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” (Success Story, Rudy Giuliani Leadership Quotes , 2015)
These are some of the phrases that made history when Mayor Giuliani went through his term as Mayor of New York City, and a step further when he became a transformational leader during and after 9/11. Rudy Giuliani served as the Republic mayor of NYC from 1994 until 2001. A prosecutor by trade, he presided over steep declines in both violent and quality of life crimes (Success Story, Rudy Giuliani Leadership Quotes , 2015). He was also widely praised for his leadership in the wake of September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Though crime was already falling in the second half of Dinkins’ tenure, that trend rapidly accelerated under Giuliani. During his eight years in office, violent crime was cut roughly in half and murders went down by 67 percent (Kelling, G., 2009). He was a believer in the “broken windows” theory, which holds that minor signs for disorder can lead to an increase in serious infractions, Giuliani also cracked down on graffiti, public urination, X-rated theaters, sidewalk vending, subway turnstile jumping, jaywalking, created jobs for the homeless, and made NYC a better place for his people to live in (Kelling, G., 2009). Moreover he implemented a computer-based crime measurement system called CompStat that was later replicated by police departments nationwide. CompStat, designed by Giuliani in the 90s monitored weekly crime statistics and trends.
In early 2001 the FDNY (New York Fire Department) was to establish their own CompStat however was put on hold due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the June, 2001 Father’s Day fire taking the lives of three outstanding firefighters (A&E History Vault, 2014; Kelling, G., 2009).
Giuliani was for the people. He was not a self-servant leader, always looking at the bottom line concentrating only on money and wealth of which is stated to be a dangerous leadership style (Blanchard, K., 2010). He was known as a servant leader, the best kind of leader to be for the people, not for his own wealth. Giuliani had the talent of being a situational leader as Mayor of New York. He was first and foremost a trusted leader, and that is why the people remained strong, and listened to his optimistic speeches before, during, and after 9/11. He had already won the trust of his people by improving the city while serving his eight-year term as mayor. Before 9/11 he cleaned up the city, reduced crime, created jobs for the homeless, and made NYC a better place for his people to live in.
When thinking of Giuliani’s qualities as a leader there is no category in the Five Factor Personality Transformational Leadership Model that does not include his leadership qualities. Every aspect of the model or theory has all the areas of leadership Giuliani had in times of crisis, and when improving the city while serving as mayor. Studies have shown that the elements of what it takes to be a successful leader have not changed throughout history (Forbes, S., 2011).
Five Factor Personality Transformational Leadership Model (the Big 5) or Transformational Leadership Behavior
The Five Factor Personality Transformational Leadership Model (FFM) or traits are what Giuliani portrayed before, during, and after the events of 9/11. The five traits he showed and used as a transformational leader while in public office, and as Mayor of New York City before 9/11, during 9/11, and after 9/11 were:
1. Conscientiousness (Dependability) hard working, well-organized, punctual. Giuliani showed conscientiousness having a plan to clean up the city while mayor and during 9/11 to get both Police and Fire departments to work together (Masullo, K., 2014).
2. Agreeableness, trusting, lenient, soft-hearted, good natured. Giuliani was able to show agreeableness using both empathy and optimism. He grieved for those who died during and after 9/11, and remained optimistic in telling New Yorkers that although it would take time, the city would bounce back (Forbes, S., 2011). He let the people who lived in the city know how strong and resilient they were, and they would get through this together (Forbes, S., 2011).
3. Neuroticism (Emotional Stability/Adjustment). He was able to remain calm amid the chaos of 9/11. He quoted his father who had told him to ignore panic, and if he did not feel calm, his father said to pretend he is. Being able to stay calm and think clearly corresponds to neuroticism (Masullo, K., 2014; Bono, J.; Gerhardt, M., Ilies, R., Judge, T., 2002).
4. Openness to Experience (Intellect), imaginative, creative, original curious. Giuliani said he would always go to a book for help when he was into something new or something he thought was over his head (Masullo, K., 2014).
5. Extraversion (Surgency) positive energy or emotional reactivity, quickness and cleverness, a joiner, talkative, and active (Bono, J.; Gerhardt, M., Ilies, R., Judge, T., 2002; Masullo, K., 2014). Giuliani was able to handle September 11 precisely because he was said to be the same person who had been doing his best to take on challenges his whole career (Masullo, K., 2014). This corresponds to extraversion having self-confidence and decisiveness (Barrick, M.R., 1999, p. cited by; Masullo, K., 2014). These traits are said to have allowed Mayor Giuliani to show extraordinary leadership in an extraordinary time (Masullo, K., 2014).
There are different opinions on what makes a truly great leader, however former NYC Mayor Giuliani said there should be many things, from being optimistic to being well prepared, and he should know. In order to stay calm on September 11, 2001, he gave credit to being prepared. Tabletop exercises were held before 9/11 designed to rehearse responses to a wide variety of contingencies and were held throughout his time as mayor (Leadership By Giuliani, A Summary of Chapters , 2011). He knew it was important to set up a command center and find a way to communicate with the people in the city during 9/11. A few minutes after the second plane hit the south world trade center tower, his decision was made to establish two command posts, one for the police department and one for the fire department. This was necessary because they had different requirements. In addition to making positive changes in the city of NY and being widely renowned as one of the most effective chief executives in modern American history for his leadership and bravery during 9/11, Giuliani was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2001, and was even knighted by the queen of England in 2002 (Eisenberg, Z., 2015).
When he took the stage at an annual conference in Las Vegas to talk to a group of real estate professionals about leadership, a spokesman before him stated “As leaders, it is our nature to constantly look for ways to improve”. When Giuliani took the stage he added, “Leadership is something you learn, not something you are born with” (Eisenberg, Z., 2015). He said most of what you know about how to run a business are things you learned.
The Six Lessons of Leadership from Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Giuliani singled out the six principles of leadership having a definable set of beliefs, being courageous, living life as an optimist, being relentlessly prepared (know what you are talking about), surrounding yourself with effective people and be a good communicator. He looked to these very qualities, especially during difficult times (Eisenberg, Z., 2015). He said when he says leadership he does not mean running a large organization or small organization; he means running your life because you need leadership to get through life (Eisenberg, Z., 2015).
Giuliani’s components of a great leader are as follows:
1. Leaders have to have a vision, and can only lead if they can look into the future. Leaders need to be able to predict growth and change. They not only need a vision but they need to be able to share it. People can only follow them if they announce their plan, they cannot follow leaders if they do not tell them where to go.
2. Leaders have to be optimists. This does not mean they have to see the world as wonderful and great but it means they have to be problem solvers. They must switch their focus from problem to solution. An optimist is able to infuse in an organization the idea that we can get it done.
3. Leaders have to have courage. Leaders are risk takers, because when things are not going well they have to make changes. They have to have courage to take the risk to do something different.
4. Leaders have to track their progress. Giuliani emphasized the importance of goal driven metrics to measure their improvements so that they are able to fully understand if they are on the right track toward their goals. There is no better way to re-energize people than with success. Positive energy feeds on itself.
5. Leaders have to be relentlessly prepared thinking of the worst case scenario, and then prepare themselves for it. Giuliani noted the importance of cyber protection from bottom to top.
6. Leaders have to love their team. If you want to be a good leader, like the people you work with. These people should be important to you, and you have to have them feel important if you want your people to go above and beyond, to pitch in their ideas and contribute, you have to love those people. And what happens when you fail? You learn. He noted that he learned more from losing the election than he did from the two times he won it. Nobody likes failures, but you can use it to figure out how to do it better next time (Eisenberg, Z., 2015).
Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model
Similar to the statement from Ken Blanchard of the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model stating at a conference the sharing of information must include everyone in a crisis (Blanchard, K., 2010). Along with Dr. Paul Hersey, Ken Blanchard established the theory for leaders to assess what leadership style they will use, based upon each individual situation. No single leadership style can be considered the best. Tasks are different and each type of crisis or task is different. The theory is based on how a good leader will be able to adapt his or her leadership goals or objectives to be accomplished by pairing his or her leadership style to the ability and maturity level of the group. The theory is to delegate, support, coach, and direct (Hersey Blanchard Situational Leadership Model, n.d.).
In times of crisis while Giuliani was mayor, and during 9/11 he knew he needed a plan for police and fire departments to work together showed his conscientiousness, dependability, and this was a situation never experienced before in New York City. He showed situational and transformational leadership. An example of situational leadership that Giuliani once in office captured for his demand for public order in New York was to take those who were qualified and appointed them into their properly skilled positions giving those experienced and educated in their field autonomy. William Bratton as an example, had orchestrated the subway success with a significant reduction in subway crime and understood the importance of order maintenance. He was promoted by Giuliani as New York’s police commissioner (Kelling, G., 2009). Under Bratton, the NYPD brought enormous capacities on the city’s crime problem, particularly Compstat with its tactical planning and accountability system identifying where crimes were occurring and held local commanders responsible for their areas (Kelling, G., 2009). The reduction of crime inspired line police officers who in the past were ignored and were not used up to their capacity (Kelling, G., 2009). Once Giuliani came to the end of his eight year term, Mayor Blomberg did not overturn what Bratton/Giuliani’s successes for public order did for the city, instead he adopted, refined, and strengthened them which usually does not happen once a new leader is elected (Kelling, G., 2009).
Relationship to Other Leaders
At the time of 9/11 Giuliani was working on a book about leadership. He had gone over basically everything that he had learned throughout his career about being a leader, and the book was almost completed until the 9/11 terrorist attack had occurred and he was there to take the reins and calm the people of NY and our nation with another chapter to add to his book at a later date (Masullo, K., 2014).
Giuliani had a biography of Winston Churchill at his bedside that he turned to the night of September 12, 2001 when returning home at 2:30am. He began reading it because he realized that there were parallels between what had happened in New York City the previous day and the constant bombing England had faced during World War II when Churchill was Prime Minister (Wiegrefe, K., 2009a) .
As an example, Giuliani united his people to remain strong, and not allow a terrorist attack to take away their spirit. Same as what his admirer Winston Churchill did for his followers, only the bombings during WWII were continuous, as Giuliani had pointed out comparing Churchill’s experience as a greater challenge than his, but he learned from a former leader how to react on that horrific day, and Giuliani was there when our nation needed a leader like him (Wiegrefe, K., 2009a).
Historically Winston Churchill, prime minister of England realized Hitler was seeking world dominance and his decision was not to allow his people to follow a mad-man’s vision (Wiegrefe, K. , 2009b). Giuliani remained optimistic and kept the New Yorkers and our nation together to let them know terrorists (mad-men) would not allow our national spirit of freedom to crumble as the towers did on that day.
He pointed out leaders like former President Ronald Reagan, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Winston Churchill, the prime minister of England who led his country through nightly bombing raids by the German Air Force during World War II, inspired and guided Giuliani’s own style of leadership, as well as the people who surrounded him during 9/11 (Longenecker, D., 2002). Giuliani’s other admirers were King’s ideas about non-violence and Reagan’s beliefs about communism were formed internally, through intensive study and reflection, and not as a result of studying polls. The first principle of leadership, Giuliani believes is understanding who you are, what you are and what you stand for and being willing to stand for something you believe in (Longenecker, D., 2002; Masullo, K., 2014).
Giuliani said on 9/11 terrorists attacked the United States to break our spirit, with the goal of proving that the nation was weak and its people were pampered and living without a core set of beliefs. What the terrorists found was that the strength of what people who live in freedom believe was so strong that they could absorb a horrific attack like that and stand up and not retreat, which began with the firefighters, the police officers, and the rescue workers, and continued through the recovery effort. Emergency personnel willingly put their lives at risk, knowing that their very lives might be required in the process was motivated by a strong set of beliefs (Longenecker, D., 2002). His lessons of leadership and one he witnessed on a daily basis during the aftermath of the attacks was courage. Courage is the absence of fear to do what is necessary (Longenecker, D., 2002). To be a leader and an effective one and a good one, you have to be an optimist. Nobody follows a pessimist. An optimist is a problem solver; someone who is able to look at a set of problems no matter how bad things are, and find a way out. You have to train yourself to think that way (Longenecker, D., 2002).
Giuliani admired and still admires Winston Churchill even though Churchill suffered from clinical depression in a time before much was known about treating the condition, he had to lead his country through times that Giuliani said were much more difficult than the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was not just the bombing but the continuous attacks. Londoners got up every morning and went to work and to school going on with their daily lives, not knowing how many they might have to bury later that day (Longenecker, D., 2002).
Churchill gave his people hope, as did Martin Luther King, Jr. who helped others understand that the difficulties that they were facing then would lead to meaningful change, which is a mark of a great leader (Longenecker, D., 2002).Giuliani said those who could get through more difficult times than his, made him realize if they can do it, he can do it (Longenecker, D., 2002). Churchill presented defiance that people who live in freedom can overcome anything including those who have strength and help from God that people who live in oppression do not have (Wiegrefe, K. , 2009b). Churchill had the ability to find solutions to problems, even when he had to struggle with himself emotionally to do it. Giuliani had faith in God and faith in his people of New York City. As a trait of a great leader, Giuliani cared about others instead of himself (Longenecker, D., 2002). Giuliani had formulated his ideas about leadership, but September 11th made him rethink leadership in ways he had never imagined before (Longenecker, D., 2002).
Leadership Before 9/11
Before 9/11, no one had the imagination of thinking the terrorists were going use our planes as missiles, but there was a man who was there whenever needed on that day of September 11, 2001 and after to be the spokesman for the New Yorkers, and for our nation to keep our nation calm, united, and strong (Wood, A.; Thompson, P. , 2002).
As an American lawyer, businessman, public speaker, and former Mayor of NYC, Mayor Giuliani served as mayor before, during, and after the September 11 attacks in 2001. He served from 1994 to 2001. On 9/11 he was having breakfast at the Peninsula Hotel in Midtown Manhattan on the morning of September 11, 2001, just a few blocks away when he learned an airplane had struck the world Trade Center. He described seeing the second plane, Flight 175 and saw it hit the second tower with an immense explosion while he was on route to ground zero. He was not sure if it was a terrorist attack until he actually got there and saw the planes through the towers and saw people throwing themselves out of the window when he realized this was the worst that his city had ever faced (Stewart, R., 2011). He remembered saying to himself that we better pray to God that we can do the right job (The 9/11 Commission Report, The History Channel video, 2004; The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, pp. 283,284,311,319).
Leadership During 9/11
On the morning of 9/11, his first strategy was to get both the New York City police and fire departments to work together. It was a known fact that before 9/11 they worked separately, and this is where Giuliani showed conscientiousness, and dependability. He had also remained calm amid the chaos, and he said his father had always taught him to stay calm and think clearly. Acting in a panic would lead to bad decisions (Stewart, R., 2011). This quality of leadership corresponds to Neuroticism (Emotional Stability/Adjustment) in the FFM model (Masullo, K., 2014). His experience with challenges while mayor made him capable of showing how great his leadership qualities were and was given that chance on 9/11. He was also optimistic in telling New Yorkers although it would take time, the city would bounce back. He let the people who lived in the city know how strong and resilient they are, and that they would get through this together (Forbes, S., 2011). With the President out of sight most of that day, Giuliani became the voice of America. Every time he spoke millions of people felt a little better. His words were full of grief and iron, inspiring New York to inspire the nation. “Tomorrow New York is going to be here,” he said. “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.” (Pooley, E., Monday, December 31, 2001; Mandel, S., 2011). Giuliani added he was proud of the people he saw on the street frightened and confused, but there was no chaos (Pooley, E., Monday, December 31, 2001).
Having a plan to get both the Police and Fire departments to work together showed Giuliani’s conscientiousness, and dependability. He knew that they would be required to work jointly because of the immense impact to the city. He said it was not an easy task because the two departments had a rivalry that dated back generations. Giuliani wanted to make sure both the Fire and Police departments worked together because this was a situation never experienced before in New York City (Forbes, S., 2011).
Giuliani’s leadership was transformational when he spoke to his people, and to the world to calm everyone in our nation to let them know that terrorism would not let them destroy their city. As an example, Mayor Giuliani was a true leader to keep the American people focused on strength and courage after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. He was there when the people needed him for support, and kept America strong. He showed competence and strength by not showing his emotions, but remaining composed which is a quality of a great leader in times of crisis (Forbes, S., 2011; Kolditz, T., 2011; Masullo, K., 2014).
The morning of 9/11 when Flight 93 was to target the White House, Giuliani said we have to do our best to keep the people together. He stated later there was heroism, pride, and support to help get us through the attack on the Twin Towers (The 9/11 Commission Report, The History Channel video, 2004).
Leadership After 9/11
After the initial first few days of horror, Giuliani showed empathy as well as optimism. He was empathetic in the fact that he grieved along with all other citizens of New York City for the tremendous loss of life. He sometimes attended multiple funerals during the weeks after the attacks. In his leadership during the initial attacks and the months afterward he utilized all the traits of a great leader (Forbes, S., 2011).
In an interview on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Giuliani referred to the fact that he was able to handle September 11 precisely because he was the same person who had been doing his best to take on challenges his whole career (Forbes, S., 2011). He was dependable and wanted to be there whenever they needed him during and after 9/11. Giuliani was able to show agreeableness, another trait of the Five Factor Model. He used agreeableness using both, empathy and optimism (Barrick, M.R., 1999). He sometimes attended multiple funerals during the weeks after the attacks. He was also optimistic in telling New Yorkers that they although it would take time, the city would bounce back. He let the people who lived in the city know how strong and resilient they were, and that they would get through this together (Forbes, S., 2011).
Giuliani stated that the nation had changed for the better and changed the country mostly in good ways to make us more realistic about the threat we had faced. He said we have much better intelligence, we are spiritually stronger, twice as many people live here now and the city is bigger. The terrorists thought they were going to destroy this place but it is twice as big as it was before. He said, the New Yorkers showed a lot of resiliency that we needed, and there was tremendous unity (Forbes, S., 2011).
In the interview they asked Giuliani how he managed to stay calm amid the chaos, and he said he related that his father had always taught him to stay calm and then he would be able to think and make better decisions (Masullo, K., 2014). Acting in a panic would lead to bad decisions. He said he would “take whatever panic he felt and basically just ignore it”. He stated, even if you do not feel calm pretend you are (Masullo, K., 2014).
The purpose of describing Giuliani’s leadership tactics shows that leadership does not simply happen. It can be taught, learned and developed, but it does not happen automatically. It is suggested for people who want to become great leaders to surround themselves with great people, have beliefs and communicate with them. See things for yourself, which is what Giuliani did when he was having breakfast in NYC, only a few blocks away when he was at Ground Zero seeing the second tower being hit by Flight 175 and collapsing. Seeing things for yourself, was learned from his father. His father always told Giuliani not to take a person’s word but see what is going on with your own eyes. When referring to the Five Factor Model of Transformational leadership, Giuliani showed every characteristic before he was mayor of NYC, then while mayor an extraordinary leader during, and after 9/11.
Rudolph W. Giuliani’s leadership and decision-making skills have proven to be outstanding through his years as U.S. district attorney, his two terms as mayor of New York City, and on September 11, 2001. He emerged as America’s steady hand, and shares his principles of leadership that guided him throughout his career in his book written by him titled “Leadership” (Giuliani, R., 2002). He was able to take control, and instilled trust in his people and in the nation when the nation needed a hero like him to get through the horrors of terrorism. Giuliani said we learned a great deal and learned about the danger of terrorism, and how we can sustain a tremendous attack. The City of New York is emotionally stronger, with a better sense of itself and of what is important. When this country comes together it unites. Even the republicans and democrats come together when there is a crisis. As his father taught him, you will not be able to see or make right decisions unless you remain calm, and great leaders are responsible for making the right decisions in times of crisis.