Book Review 'Leadership' by Rudolph Giuliani

Topics: Leadership, Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of New York City Pages: 14 (5025 words) Published: October 9, 2008
Book Review


By Rudolph W. Giuliani

The influence of 9/11 on this book.

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani give in his book, appropriately called “Leadership”, his personal view on the important factors that should encompass leadership. In sixteen chapters he shares the views he learnt over the length of his career in combination with striking examples of his own professional and personal life. When he started to work on his book in the spring of 2001, also his last year of his term as mayor of New York, he did not know that his leadership qualities would be put to the test on last time in September of that year. When on September 11th 2001, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, mayor Giuliani was in the middle of it all. Not only figuratively, being the mayor of the City, but also literally. He found himself near the sight when the planes hit the tower, and had to run for his life when the first tower collapsed. The events that happened that day and in the days after 9/11, made mayor Giuliani decide to add his experiences during this period to his book. He added two additional chapters, one at the beginning and one at the end. The chapters describe how he experienced the events that happened that day and how the city recovered in the weeks following 9/11. These chapters, like the rest of the book, have a narrative style to them. They show what kind of decisions Giuliani had to make as a leader, but also what he experienced and felt as a person. Although these two chapters do not give the reader any real lessons in leadership, it definitely adds value to the rest of the book. It presents one of the most extreme situations a leader can find himself in and how to deal with such a situation. It complements the other chapters by acting as an example, on top of the examples given already, to help explain the views Rudolph Giuliani has on leadership. As such, these chapters are of no direct relevance for the purpose of this assignment, but they added depth and a sense of “realness” to the book. This because, every person who reads this book knows what happened on September 11th 2001, remembers all the events, which makes it possible to relate and connect more to the content of the book. The summary of the content will not include the two chapters elaborately, but they will be referred to in connection to other chapters. The chapters individually present a view Giuliani has on leadership, which he clarifies with examples from his on personal career. There are relations to be found between the chapters, but not in a similar way like in a novel. There is no true story-line to be found in the way Giuliani presents his ideas. He does refer back to specific points in his career, from which he then gives an example, and these are recurring points in his career. For example he refers back several times, in different chapters, to his childhood, his work as a clerk for Judge MacMahon and obviously about his work as the Mayor of New York.

Summary of the content.

Apparently the saying “a good start, is half the work” is one Giuliani favors a lot, something that can be derived from reading chapter 1, titled First things First. Every morning at 8 o’clock Giuliani holds a meeting with his staff members as a way of getting most of the work done already. He meets with his staff for about 45 minutes to an hour, to discuss all problems an issues they have. These meetings have the purpose of decision-making, communicating and even socializing. But most importantly, it gave Giuliani the opportunity to hold everybody, including himself, responsible for their work. The benefit lies in the fact that staff-members who face a problem on Monday, are certain they would be able to address the issue to the right person the next day at this meeting. This person could be another commissioner, but also the Mayor. The same goes for Giuliani, who can discuss and solve problems within three days. A problem that...

References: Giuliani, R.G. (First Edition). Leadership. New York, Talk Miramax Books: Hyperion.
Northouse, P.G. (Latest edition). Leadership. Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Yukl.
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