|"America's Mayor" Rudolph Giuliani speaks at The University of Texas-Pan American during the UTPA Foundation Outstanding Leadership Series Jan. 16.|
The former New York Mayor rose to national prominence for his handling of the World Trade Center Attack. Giuliani was often seen risking his life at Ground Zero, attending funeral after funeral for victims, comforting children, all while leading a city in crisis.
“The principles of leadership come out of your background, your family and your experiences,” Giuliani said as he walked across a stage draped in a giant American flag.
He mentioned Former President Ronald Reagan and Civil Rights Activist Dr. Martin Luther King as being exemplary people with unwavering beliefs and convictions. Reagan and King, he said, had another principle of leadership – courage.
“Courage is the management of fear to do the job you need to do,” said Giuliani. “A leader has to have that.”
Giuliani said he was inspired by the courage of New York firefighters and police, who in the face of danger, were relentless in searching for survivors in the days following the attack.
Giuliani said he also found inspiration in reading about Winston Churchill and his optimistic attitude during World War II despite daily bombings on Britain. Optimism, he said, is the third principle of leadership.
“I used to think about that a lot on Sept. 11, 12 and 13… if they could get through months and months of getting bombed, getting attacked, we could get through this,” Giuliani said. “People follow hope, dreams, aspirations and problem-solvers.”
Preparation and teamwork round out the 4th and 5th principles of leadership according to the New Yorker. While there was no preparing for the events of Sept. 11, he said preparing for everything else helped him delegate a plan of action. His version of teamwork is sound management – the act of surrounding yourself with “people who have strengths where you have weaknesses.”
And finally, the sixth principle of leadership, according to Giuliani, communication – especially the non verbal kind. “It’s being there for people when they need you.” President Bush, said Giuliani, was at ground zero and that helped morale among the crews working through the disaster scene.
“Most important thing he did was he stayed there. Secret service would come up to him and try to move him and he would say no,” Giuliani remembered.
During a question and answer session after his speech, Giuliani told the crowd he wants to make sure whatever is built at ground zero should first and foremost be a memorial to those who died in the World Trade Center, something that reflects “historical significance and heroism.”
When asked if he would return to public service, Giuliani – who today runs a consulting firm – said yes to thunderous applause. He did not give details about his future plans.
The UTPA Foundation, an independent fundraising organization, is the sponsor of the Outstanding Leadership Series. Giuliani’s visit helped raised money for UTPA scholarships.