- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

Even before the September 11 terrorist attacks on his city, New York Mayor Rudolph W. (Rudy) Giuliani looked upon himself as a uniquely able leader and his actions on that terrible day and the days and months that followed further convinced him that he was right.
And, of course, he was.
Though there were many heroes that day including a lot who died heroically, three men especially emerged with their reputations greatly enhanced not only in New York and Washington, but also on a national level. Rudy Giuliani was one of those three, along with President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Mr. Giuliani uses the events of that day as a springboard for his book, "Leadership," in which he defines the factors and lays out the rules he believes are necessary for leadership, and he relates them not only to his performance on and following September 11 but also to various events in his career as a lawyer, a federal prosecutor and, finally, New York City's mayor.
He had begun working on the book well before the terrorists struck so had in mind his general approach. But September 11 called on him to put into practice all the leadership skills he had developed and intended to write about. And just as he is the better man because of that experience so is his book a much better book.
It is better because while most Americans and much of the rest of the world are fully aware of the strong, compassionate leadership he exercised during that tremendously stressful period, in the book he discusses it in detail not otherwise available.
Interestingly, Mr. Giuliani came within an ace of not being the mayor when the terrorists struck. A year and a half earlier he was gearing up to run for the United States Senate against Hillary Clinton when prostate cancer, from which he has now recovered, forced him to withdraw from the race. Had he stayed in the race and won, which was entirely possible, neither New York City nor "Leadership" would likely have fared as well.
Is Mr. Giuliani an egotist? Of course he is. The book indicates it plainly, but there can be no doubt that he has earned the right to be one. Under the circumstances it would be difficult for him not to be egotistical. During that crisis period he did onewhale of a job, a job that few men could be expected to match. Additionally, for eight years, climaxed by the three and half months beginning on September 11, he was New York's best mayor since Fiorello LaGuardia and maybe its best of all time.
New York was said to be so big and so complicated it was ungovernable. As mayor, Mr. Giuliani made it governable, made it a better, safer place to live, to work, to visit. He will tell you this himself, but nevertheless it is true.
When I picked up "Leadership" the title itself led me to believe it would be a book largely filled with self-praise, a book of Mr. Giuliani patting himself on the back. I was not disappointed. But "Leadership" is infinitely more than that. It is a fascinating book. Among other things it is a superb textbook.
If I ran a business I would instruct my executives and those who wanted to become executives to read it. If I were a college professor I would assign my students to read it. If I were the president of the United States I would tell all my appointees to read it and profit from it. In each case I would tell them to underline the rules that Mr. Giuliani lays out and take them to heart because, as he says in his preface, leadership "can be taught, learned and developed."
Yes, Mr. Giuliani pats himself on the back but it's praise that is well earned by long, hard, principled attention to duty and preparation for whatever might befall, including, amazingly, the possibility of a terrorist attack
Mr. Giuliani begins by telling in low-key, understated fashion where he was and what he did and what he saw on September 11, and how he and many of his staff came within a whisker of losing their lives. It is a gripping story that leads easily into the book's theme. Though modesty is not his strong point, to give Mr. Giuliani his due, throughout the book he does not hesitate to extend credit to men and women who served under him as well as to those he served under at various times during his career including, in particular, Ronald Reagan, of whom he is a great admirer.
Although more of a social liberal than Mr. Reagan he is pro-choice, favors gun control and certain legal rights for homosexual couples he also a strong believer in smaller government and lower taxes. Like Mr. Reagan, he came from a working family and began his adult life as a liberal Democrat. He particularly approved of and learned from the way the president handled the air controllers strike early in his first term (Mr. Reagan fired them) and his toughness in dealing with the Soviet Union.
Throughout his two terms as mayor Mr. Giuliani showed the same sort of toughness in dealing with municipal unions and he revels in the time he refused to let Yasser Arafat, whom he views as a terrorist, attend a privately-financed dinner for United Nations ambassadors and heads of state.
The book gives no indication that Mr. Giuliani is an intuitive or charismatic leader. But it is clear that early on he set out to be a leader and that he succeeded admirably. In reading "Leadership," however, one is led to wonder if Mr. Giuliani would first say to himself, "I am a leader and therefore I must do thus and so," or whether he would make a decision and then in retrospect say to himself, "Aha, that was leadership" and mark it for inclusion in a book he someday would write. Being the thorough and meticulous man that he is, Mr. Giuliani probably did some of both.
It really doesn't matter; the leadership was there when it was so desperately needed and New York and indeed the nation profited from it.
"Leadership" not only begins with the day the towers fell but it also ends in the same time frame. But while that period dominates, Mr. Giuiliani covers a much longer one and gives the reader glimpses into his life and career as well as his views on a number of issues. By no means, however, is this an autobiography. Early on Mr. Giuliani warns potential voyeurs that they will look for his marital problems in vain. And while the name of his close friend, Judith Nathan, is sprinkled throughout one can only assume the closeness of that relationship.
He mentions his childhood in passing. We learn that his father taught him to box so he could defend himself while rooting for the New York Yankees in a Brooklyn Dodger neighborhood. He remains an avid Yankee fan, indeed an avid sports fan. His marriage he mentions not at all and his son and daughter only briefly.
But he talks about his first campaign for mayor, which he lost, and how he learned a basic lesson, which was to be the candidate and let others for the most part handle the nuts and bolts of the campaign. He is proudest, and rightly so, of his achievements as mayor, even before September 11. While it is his leadership on that day and immediately afterward that made him a truly national figure, had there been no September 11 attacks, he still would have left office recognized as an outstanding public official.
To mention a few of his accomplishments: On his watch New York's murder rate was cut in half, Times Square was cleaned up, porno shops were limited to certain areas of the city, jail administration was reformed and improved and child welfare became a priority.
With almost a sneer Mr. Giuliani notes that whenever there was a public outcry for child welfare reform previous mayors would respond merely by changing the name of the agency.
In contrast, under his administration adoptions increased markedly, child support collected from deadbeat parents more than doubled and worker caseloads were reduced by 41 percent.
In reading "Leadership" two things stand out. One, Rudy Giuliani loves his city, and two, he enjoyed and was up to the challenges he faced, first to make it a better, safer place and second to restore it to normalcy after the attacks of September 11.
Still to be seen is what comes next for Mr. Giuliani. Has he reached the end of his political career or were his eight years of honing his leadership capabilities while running the nation's biggest city merely a jumping off place?
Stay tuned.

Lyn Nofziger, a Washington writer, was a political adviser to President Ronald Reagan.



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