Despite the ringing of two stray cell phones disrupting the quiet, all eyes and ears were glued, almost reverently, on New
York City's former Mayor Rudy Guiliani at INTERPHEX when he presented the day's keynote address. First, he thanked the audience
for providing the therapeutic options that allowed him to successfully defeat prostate cancer awhile back. Next came his
imitation of James Gandolfini in the hit TV show "The Sopranos," as he reminisced about his duties as NYC's former chief prosecutor.
Once he had our full attention, close to 1,000 of us, he shared what he felt are the most valuable leadership attributes and
how they will successfully get you through challenging and uncertain times.
Carol L. Fisher
Rudy Guiliani is most widely known for his calm, courageous, compassionate leadership of not just NYC but of the entire tri-state
area following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Before that, he was credited with revitalizing NYC in the international
business and cultural arenas and prosecuting some of NY's toughest organized crime figures. With that resume, I'd say the
man has something of value to share, whether you've already donned the mantle of leadership or are just preparing for it.
A successful leader, according to Rudy, has seven major attributes. Most important of all is having a solid philosophy. If
your objectives and goals are already established, you then have a basis upon which to analyze a problem and reach a solution.
The second attribute is optimism. People who offer solutions, not complaints, are those who move up. He said, "Think success.
It may not always work, but you'll win more than you lose." The third attribute is a must: ethics. "Anyone can win by cheating,"
he said, "but you must win within the rules for real satisfaction and real wins." The fourth attribute is courage, which is
acknowledging fear (risks) and organizing yourself to get through the danger.
The fifth attribute — being relentlessly prepared — was of inestimable value to Rudy and his team on September 11. Although
they had no contingency plans for "airliners driven into skyscrapers," they adapted previous plans, designed and rehearsed
for other catastrophes, to the unfolding crisis. His advice? Think of the worst thing that can happen and prepare for that
eventuality because your plans will hold at least some of the elements that can be used in later emergencies. Attribute six,
understanding the value of team work, means you must acknowledge your own weaknesses, balance them with the strengths of those
you select for your team, and then rely on those you've chosen. Of the final attribute communication, it's imperative to know
how to get your ideas across, as well as to listen, and if you hone the first six attributes, communication becomes "just
To wrap up the morning — not counting Rudy's response to the first Q&A query of whether his next honorific will be that of
either senator or president — he closed with, "If you want to be a good leader, care about people."
Carol L. Fisher, Editor in Chief