The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) held its fall World Conference at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel in New York City last week. On Thursday, October 20, 2016, former Mayor Rudy Giulianni was the key note Opening Session Speaker. He spoke on the 6 Principles of Leadership that he has learned in his career.

I attended his talk and here are my take-aways and notes from his one hour discussion.

The setting was a large stage and he stood for over an hour having just arrived from Las Vegas and the Presidential debates. Despite having an annoying cold, he stood strong to offer real leadership ideas.

His 6 Principles of Leadership commenced with:

1. You Need Strong Ideas

He stated that leaders need to have a long-term outlook on their business or you will not be able to develop a plan. When he was in office as Mayor of NYC, the Government was taxing income at 52% (fed, state and local combined). He said if this was a real law firm (he is a lawyer) in which the Government is keeping 52% and you are keeping 49% of what you make, then you would be a “Junior Partner”. The Government would in fact be the “Senior Partner” and that is not good. In NYC, the convention hotel occupancy tax was 22.5%. Conventions stopped coming to NYC. It was way too expensive. NYC was the senior partner. You could go to Orlando for cheaper rates. He decided the rate had to drop to at least 12.5% and if he could do that then more conventions would come to NYC. That would mean more business and discretionary expenditures for NYC. Conventions are a big business in NYC, why would you want to scare away your business partners?

He then stated that you need to have a goal and vision in order to know what you want to accomplish. Set goals and manage those goals. It helps to let your employees know where you are headed and how their work and efforts work towards that goal.

2. Be an Optimist

He suggested that you look at the good side of things. Problems should be considered challenges rather than obstacles that we can’t do anything about. He said it helps to cry when things go bad at first, but only a little and only to vent but then plan immediately to find solutions. Be a problem solver. You need to dream and not have a fear to pursue challenges.

3. You have to have courage

Rudy stated that a leader has to accept that he can fail. All great men and women have failed once such as Steve Jobs. He was fired from Apple and then 10 years later, he rejoined and grew the company to greatness. Another example is Mayor Bloomberg who improved on the successes of Mayor Giuliani’s policies. Early in Bloomberg’s career, he was fired by Solomon Brothers and given a $20 million severance (hard to call that a failure). He then started a new idea and obtained seed money to start the Bloomberg computer. He approached Wall Street with the idea but they didn’t like it so he went to London with the idea. London loved the Bloomberg computer and then everyone wanted it. Bloomberg then became a billionaire. He was lucky the Solomon fired him or he would still be only a millionaire today instead of a billionaire.

4. Relentless Preparation

A leader must prepare for the worst that can happen and then you are prepared for anything. It takes constant practice and ability to be ready. Rudy spoke about being prepared for Sept. 11. NYC had prepared for months and years for any terrorist attack especially after the 1993 first bombing of the World Trade Centers. Despite their preparation, they did not anticipate the type of attack that was fostered. However, they were prepared for responders and rescue. That preparation saved a great deal of lives.

5. You Need A Good Team and Good Team Work

Rudy suggested that as a leader you need to pick someone who you can trust to identify your weaknesses. Ask yourself what aren’t you good at or ask your spouse what aren’t you good at? Find your weaknesses and hire those who have strengths in that area. Balance yourself with your strengths and weaknesses. Have a team that has a balance of skills that do not overlap.

6. Be Able to Communicate

Tell your team what your business plan is all about and what you plan to do and your goals. You have to love people on your team, know who they are and know when things are going wrong with team members. Be there to help them. It is more important to go to a friend’s funeral than it is to go to a friend’s wedding. If you had to skip one of the two events, the funeral is more important. They need you more to hug them at a funeral and they need your help. You will be rewarded in return.

It is far more important to be there for people in distress and to take care of them and to love them as people and not as your workers. Your team will go above and beyond the call of duty if you are a true leader.


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