Being an effective leader requires having a set of beliefs, knowing your own strengths, having a support team and being genuinely concerned about your fellow man.
These were some of the leadership traits former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani offered during his keynote presentation at the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) OneShow at Chicago’s McCormick Place North.
Speaking to a standing room only crowd, Giuliani offered his insights in elements of leadership. He also reiterated his belief in fiscal responsibility, something he said the current federal government has not provided.
Those NAMA OneShow attendees wishing for an indication of Giuliani’s plans for a presidential bid in 2012 did not receive any indication one way or the other. Giuliani did not mention his plans for 2012 during his talk, but he was asked during the question and answer period.
The former mayor began his talk recalling the early days of his mayorship of New York City, an 8-year period during which the city’s crime declined by 65 percent and the number of welfare recipients fell in half.
While Giuliani brought an extensive background in law enforcement to the role, including working as a federal prosecutor, he faced his greatest leadership test when terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2011.
Five weeks after the attack, Giuliani related his surprise seeing a Chicago police officer directing traffic in New York City. In questioning the officer, he learned that the Chicago police department sent safety officers to assist his city. “It gives you a sense of what Chicago and America is like,” he said.
Other disasters have occurred since 9/11, Giuliani said, including natural ones like the recent storms in St. Louis, Mo. “It’s all the more reason why people should understand leadership,” he said.
Tailoring his message specifically to the vending audience, Giuliani said he has learned of the numerous government regulations that vending operators have to follow. Excessive government regulation affects many industries, he said, and it is undermining the nation’s economic strength.
“When you have too many regulations, you never regulate the right things,” he said. “There’s an ideology that you can regulate yourself to profitability, you can regulate yourself to growth, you can regulate yourself to safety. None of that is true.”
“That’s the political philosophy that had ruined New York for 30 or 40 years,” he said.
“I believe there is only one thing that will make your industry grow again,” he said. “We have to invest in the private sector.”
“Let’s get rid of regulations that don’t make sense,” he said.
Giuliani said New York City was in a position to respond to the devastation of 9/11 partly because of the renewed strength that occurred under his leadership. “The city came into Sept. 11, thank God, stronger than it was before.”
“Socialism is a self defeating philosophy that locks people into it,” he said. “Taxes not only feed government, it shrinks the private sector,” he said.
Giuliani outlined six principles of leadership.
The first principle of leadership is to have a strong set of goals and beliefs.
“You can’t just wander through a crisis,” he said. This is something he learned from President Reagan.
The way President Obama has handled the war in Libya offers an example of acting without a set of goals and beliefs.
Had the U.S. acted to overthrow Libyan dictator Moammar Gadaffi when the rebels had made early military gains, Gadaffi would have been overthrown.
He said it took three to four weeks for the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone on Libya. At the same time Obama agreed to support the no fly zone, he stated that the U.S. goal is not to remove Gadaffi. “The illogic of this is monumental,” he said.
“We have leadership to make prudent decisions,” Giuliani said. “He (Obama) is kind of formulating it as he goes.”