Effective Leader – Rudolf Giuliani


Rudolf Giuliani started holding daily morning meetings with his staff at the start of gubernatorial tenure. Each team member gave their respective inputs for each project and his staff was encouraged to assure that there were accomplishments achieved everyday. He recognized that he could not be an expert in the city’s endeavors but his passion for learning made him knowledgeable about said topics. His decision making progress was quick and deliberate but wanted to hear all sides of the argument prior to making the final decision. Giuliani made it a point to emphasize that the ‘I’m responsible’ making it a point that he was responsible for activities. He also made use of statistical analysis during his daily routine. He had a computer generate spreadsheets of key performance indicators. At the start of each project he would always ask “What is the purpose, mission and goal”? All the projects had to be aligned with this statement. He would chart and track projects with this in mind.

His leadership principles are strongly aligned with his beliefs and values. His values are religion, democracy, freedom and capitalism. He frowns on gut feelings of prejudice preventing from him getting in his way. One of his greatest skills was to surround himself with pundits in topics that he lacks knowledge. He avoided ‘Yes Men’ and created family by surrounding himself with two or three directs with complimentary skill sets. He was and also made his staff goal orientated and relied heavily on loading responsibility on to each of his staff. He also fostered team spirit in so much to assure that each direct can achieve their own goals but made sure that they contributed to each others goals as well. This approach assured incredible devotion by his staff. He was criticized for reacting slowing in dismissals as a result of a scandal but this backing gave confidence to his staff that he gave more importance in them than rumors and press.

Analyze, Assess and Deal with Issues

What is Giuliani’s leadership style? LMX and Path-Goal theories were used by Giuliani to manage and lead his team. It’s clear from references that this method was used extensively by him “In group members are willing to do more than is required in their job description and look for ways to advance the group’s goals” (Northouse, 154). The LMX theory also strives to build trust and respect for all and with all subordinates. Communications is a very strong component of LMX “The high quality of exchanges advocated in LMX are inextricably bound to effective communication” (Northouse, 155). His use of daily meetings, charts and goals is evident in this exchange and is a testament to his powerful leadership style making use of the LMX Theory. He also made Path-Goal a vital part of strengthening his team “With a strong belief in the necessity of keeping the environment stimulating Giuliani would set his team stretching goals and set them off on pioneering adventures” (Rudolph Giuliani’s Definition of Leadership, 2007).

911 Leadership

If there is one leader that stands out above the rest, it is Giuliani. After the United States was attacked the FDNY and NYPD and others acted heroically. Leaders can take a lesson from his leadership during this time of angst and strife. So do I answer this question? How does Giuliani deal with issues? It would be difficult find a more poignant time frame. There are a number of tenants that he strived to abide by: be visible, be composed, be vocal and be resilient.

Like George W Bush, people rallied around Giuliani after 911. He didn’t retreat but faced this head on. We can remember when Bush’s absence for a few days after Katrina hurt his ratings, but they both became pillars of the community be being visible and determined. By being strong, he eliminated the feelings of confusion and led us all to move forward with pride. Composure- “Be sure to show your team that you are calm and in control, even though you may not exactly feel that way at the time. Your calm demeanor will go a long way toward helping your team think clearly and react appropriately during the crisis” (9/11 Leadership Lessons, 2011). Vocal- Being vocal at times of duress calms folks and compounds the effectiveness of communications. Resilience- Did the United States return to its original state of being after 911. Not totally but there is no doubt that Giuliani played a large part in fostering its resilience. We gained hope and the ability to move forward. His fortitude and leadership gave us all hope and encouragement that we, as a Country, will be stronger and better.

Is it possible that Giuliani can be considered a Transformation Leader? In this circumstance I would have to say yes. Did he change most of the population after the attack? I can say from personal experience that I was changed and this arose from being familiar with his values and his high morality. I felt that he was speaking to us all and not just to New Yorkers. I can say without a doubt that he is a Transformational Leader.


Northouse, Peter. Leadership Sage2010. Print

The First MBA President (2007) Retrieved July 24th 2011 from


Rudolph Giuliani’s Definition of Leadership (2007) Retrieved Aug. 20th from


9/11 Leadership Lessons (2011) Retrieved Aug. 20th from



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