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on October 1, 2002
It seems everybody on Earth has either written a leadership book (e.g., Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Dell, the Who-Moved-My-Cheese Guy) or had one written about them (e.g., Ghingis Khan, Jesus, Blue's Clues). So it's awfully presumptuous, our great admiration for his last months of leadership as NYC's mayor notwithstanding, for Rudy Giuliani to call his leadership book LEADERSHIP.
But what is Rudy Giuliani if not presumptuous, audacious, in-your-face? And, in the final analysis, the book delivers. Big time. There is great advice here, as there is in most books about leadership and management, but the richness of Giuliani's book is the texture, illustrating the points with fascinating "inside" stories from a career that merited giving this kind of advice even if he had not become "our Churchill" after September 11.
In fact, one of the great joys of this book, and a great piece of information to remember, is that Giuliani started writing this book well before the events of 9-11. Our lasting image of him is as a universally loved leader and stateman who transcended politics, but Rudy didn't GET to that position by accident. He knew when to fight, when to coddle, when to get tough, when to mend fences, when to take an unpopular position, when to take risks. He was an incredibly effective, though controversial, prosecutor, and an incredibly effective, though controversial, mayor. This book tells you all the stories, and shows you why he was so successful. Absolutely, the September 11 stuff is gripping, maybe the best material we can get our hands on about the event. But this was no quickie project designed to capitalize on the mayor's strength during that crisis.
This book was a long time coming, as was Giuliani's performance when the eyes of the world were on him. There is just so much great information, so many great stories, so much good advice, that you'll simultaneously find yourself rushing to take it in, and slowing down to make it last.
-Michael Craig
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on October 6, 2002
This is perhaps the most insightful book on leadership on the market today. Rudy Giuliani talks about rules, struggles, problems, choices, tragedy, strategies, decisions -- even baseball and business. He tells us how his life experiences helped him to grow as a leader. You learn math from a mathematician and physics from a physicist. So too do you learn leadership from a leader. As well as drawing on his personal leader-building experiences, Rudy Giulani cultivated his leadership skills through a lifetime of reading the kind of books, such as Norman Thomas Remick's "West Point: Character Leadership Education", that develop ones leadership philosophy through studying the greatest leaders of all time. "Leadership" by Rudolph Giuliani is a book that has something for everyone.
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on January 22, 2008
Rudy Giuliani has always been a man I admired. When he stood up to the crime bosses I was impressed. As he was finishing off his second term as New York City Mayor he was already known for making incredible crime reductions and for cleaning up 42nd Street. Imagine ESPN Zone and the Disney Store where all the adult XXX stores use to be! Anyone who could accomplish this when everyone else was saying that it was impossible, is certainly worth listening to when he discusses leadership qualities. Rudy wrote what is basically part II of the book as he prepared to leave office.

Then came 9-11. He wisely chose to add chapter 1 on the events of 9-11 and the immediate aftermath. The final chapter describes how the recovery was achieved over the last days of his adminstration. Basically Giuliani was always interested in being a leader. He read a lot about and learned a lot from his mentors. Many of the ideas in this book I had already learned from reading and taking courses in leadership, e.g. empower and make everyone accountable, be open and honest and communicate clearly, let your positions be known but allow for open and honest debate, and consider all reasonable options but make a decision and stick with it.

What the book added for me was the details of Rudy's experience from his father and grandfather teaching him as a child how to stand up to bullies, to the synergism of Torre and Steinbrenner, to the teachings of Judge MacMahon and to the example of Ronald Reagan standing up to the air traffic controller. Not only does Rudy clearly relate these experiences but he also takes examples from his years in the district attorney's office and as Mayor of New York where he applied the lessons he learned. Standing up to Arafat when he crashed in on an engagement was an example of Rudy standing up to a bully when Clinton would not.

Still his achievements as Mayor and the leadership he showed during the 9-11 disaster were remarkable. What was so special about Giuliani compared to other Mayors? One thing was his unconventional way of treating the government of a city like the running of a corporation. He used the organizational and economic principles of business in running New York City. He followed what Jack Welch was doing with six sigma at GE and through his Compstat program successfully used statistical methods for improving police effectiveness. This is very similar to the success that is common in many six sigma projects. It was fascinating to hear the types of information they chose to collect and the dramatic results that occurred when the measures were reviewed in meetings.

I even found myself recognizing Reagan and other Republicans whose vision and leadership I generally discounted in the past. Rudy is not arrogant or a braggard. He is simply trying to describe the key ideas that led to his success. This is great food for thought for all of us.

I took my book to a signing at Barnes and Nobel in Princeton New Jersey and got him to sign my copy and we talked briefly. In 2008 as he runs for president in the republican primaries it may be worthwhile to look at this book again to see if he displays the leadship of a president. If he should get nominated it would take a strong campaign by the democratic candidate to get me to vote democratic and I have never voted for a republican for president before. But more than other candidates except for Clinton and McCain he exhibits the level of leadship that we expect but rarely get from our president.
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on October 2, 2002
He writes it and it's about himself. He talks about his struggles, his strategies, his September 11 experience, and his advice. He talks about his leadership and how he wanted to do things. He gives you suggestions and teaches you how to make the right choices when an unexpected problem stumbles upon you. He talks about making decisions, making rules, putting strategies into use, and much more. Want to how he felt when the unwanted September problem had befallen upon him? Want to know great information in business and making choices? Or are you a leader of some group and you want excellent advice? Well it's for all of you!
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on November 16, 2002
Rudy Giuliani knows leadership. He did the undoable. He transformed New York City, which had become a joke to many Americans, back into one of the greatest cities on Earth. And his leadership helped all the good people in and around New York City, and throughout America, to hold things together during a pre-meditated act of aggression on our Homeland tantamount to an Act of War. Read "Leadership" by Rudy Giuliani, a great friend, mentor, and role-model for all Americans.
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on April 28, 2003
I'll admit it. I've always been a Rudy fan. He caught my interest years ago when he first ran for Mayor of New York City. Fellow moderate Republicans are often hard to find, especially ones who rise to such prominence as Rudy Giuliani.
In the great tradition of many leaders (King David, the prophet Samuel, John F. Kennedy, etc), Rudy's personal life does not always quite match up to the stellar expectations that so many of us seem to place on our public figures. However, no one can ever accuse Rudy Giuliani of shirking a duty to lead. And, in this book, he describes just exactly how he does that.
The book is actually broken down into such a great format that it could really serve as fodder for future Leadership classes. He breaks it down into:
--Everyone's Accountable, All The Time.
--Underpromise and Overdeliver.
--Develop and Communicate Strong Beliefs.
--Organize Around a Purpose.
--Reflect, Then Decide.
The point that reasonated with me from the minute I first read it, was in his first declaration that "I'm Responsible." Those two little words clearly set the tone for how Rudy views Leadership. He goes into detail about building a great team, properly communicating a mission, and revisiting results; but in the end, it all comes down to the fact that he views himself, as a Leader, to be the one responsible.
I actually put off reading this book for several months because I just was not ready to revisit September 11. (I assumed that the bulk of the book would revolve around that theme.) In the end, I became a little annoyed with myself that I had put such a great read off for so long.
This truly is one of the best (and simplest) breakdowns of true leadership. I would recommed it for anyone looking to sharpen their skills.
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on October 2, 2002
I picked up this book casually on my way into a bookstore... to add to those which i would peruse. I quickly found myself thoroughly engrossed in this extremely lucid and extraordinarily frank account of Rudy Giuliani's mayoralty. The book is divided into three parts: the first of which is entirely concentrated on the day of September 11th as experienced by the man and his team; the last is concentrated on the recovery efforts post 9/11, the logistics, etc.; and the middle section is filled with Giuliani philosophies/experiences/lessons ranging from Arafat at the UN to the Yankees (of course) and accountability. An incredibly easy, candid and insightful read. Highly Recommended. (even to the remnants of anti-Rudy factions)...
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on February 26, 2005
It seemed like the cheering had barely stopped at the change of regime in New York's Gracie Mansion when Rudy Giuliani came out with this book. The subject is leadership. It's not intended to be a biography or a review of the events of Giuliani's mayoral tenure or the events of September 11. The book, which was obviously started before Giuliani left office, is supposed to be about leadership, and it


After a brief opening where Mr. Giuliani tells us why he's writing the book, we move to a discussion of the impact of September 11. No matter how the book was originally designed, this is an appropriate place to begin.

From there we go to the bulk of the book, which is composed of a series of fourteen chapters, each of which lays out a particular leadership point or belief. There's a lot here that's valuable and


The book is exceptionally well written. Sections move easily from a discourse of principles to examples from Giuliani's life and career and back again.

If you come to this book looking for insights into leadership, you will definitely find them. They're scattered throughout the book and more a part of individual insights than they are of some kind of overall plan, pattern, or philosophy. That seems odd to me, because one of the things that Giuliani was best at as mayor and which he described superbly in this book, is the use of control systems and accountability to assure good performance.

And you will certainly hear about good performance. You will also get insight into the person. You will get excellent stories about his experience of September 11, of his youth, and of his success. You won't get much about anything that wasn't a success.

No one can have as long a career as Rudolph Giuliani or occupy as often-embattled a position as the Mayor of New York without making a few bad choices and having things come out wrong. Giuliani certainly did. They're not in this book, though.

For example, you'll hear a great deal about the woman he is now spending his life with. But there's very little about the kinds of decisions he made that led to an almost soap opera atmosphere surrounding his messy divorce.

You'll hear plenty about his success in reducing the crime statistics in New York. You won't hear about what went on - if anything - with education, even though that was supposed to be an area of concentration in his second term.

You'll be reminded several times that he and his administration thought about and researched and planned for disasters and were, therefore, better prepared to handle September 11 than they might have been otherwise. You won't hear how there were no joint city-wide operations to test many of these plans, nor will you hear some of the criticisms that have been voiced in other places about issues of coordination and technology.

What that means is that as good as the book is, after awhile you start to ask yourself a question. "What's the rest of this story? What's the other side?"

In the end, that's what left me vaguely dissatisfied with the book and unwilling to give it a complete, unqualified, strong buy recommendation. You'll get part of the story here, and what you'll get is good, valuable, and may be helpful. But you won't get the whole story.
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on January 19, 2003
I bought and read Rudolph W. Guiliani's book, "Leadership", because of having read the reviews on it, especially the one dated October 6, 2002 called Character Leadership Education and the one by another author on leadership (Remick, Nov. 16, 2002) who lauded Rudolph Guiliani's leadership qualities. I have read the book (not just the reviews, as some do). Therefore, I believe my opinion should be useful and compelling testimony to anyone who is trying to decide whether to buy this book. "Leadership" was excellent. It presents Mayor Guiliani as a bonafide role model that our youth should look up to and follow (not like many of the sports, recording, and Hollywood stars, unfortunately). Rudolph W. Guiliani has performed yet another laudable service to America with "Leadership". This is a book that everyone deserves the opportunity to read. When you are finished, pass it on to someone who wants to learn, but cannot afford to buy books. Lack of money should not be an obstacle to the messages contained here. This is an outstanding book that everyone should read.

If you want to read the type of books that helped shape Mayor Guiliani's leadership character, I recommend your going on to read "West Point: Character Leadership Education....Thomas Jefferson" by Norman Thomas Remick, available here from
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on January 16, 2003
It is an interesting observation that none of the readers heaping praise on Mayor Giuliani in this space are actually FROM New York City.
"Leadership" is an intersting book, worth reading for a few insights into the actuall actions of the administration on 9/11 and couple of interesting anectodes from Rudy's government.
On the whole, however, it is fairly typical of the dreadfull crop of utterly banal, pointless and self serving works of non fiction that are regularly produced by American political figures in the down-time between election cycles.
Rudy give us nothing new in this book, at least nothing that could not be learned from a quick review of his administration's mountains of press releases. Not surprisingly, the former mayor ignores many glaring problems in his administration, including his blatant disregard for civil liberties and his dreadfull treatment of critics (both in the press corp and the government...his attack on bullies is utterly absurd; he forgets how he used to call reporters "idiots" and worse in press conferences). Rudy also fails to acknowledge that the excessive fiscal policies that his adminstration pursued during his second term lead directly to the city's current fiscal crisis. We must not forget that while Mayor Giuliani took office with a wave of admirible fiscal restraint, he had led his city into a budget deficit in excess of 2 billion dollars BEFORE September 11.
This is an intersting book, but I highly recomend reading Andrew Kirtzman's political biography "Emperor of the City" before you read Rudy's book.
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