Leadership and New York City

When discussing any triumphant or flourishing organization or institution, the main attribute which will always surface when examining the true fabric of what allows a particular organization or institution to excel, will always be leadership. Leadership is portrayed at its pinnacle in William Britton’s Turnaround, Rudolph Giuliani book Leadership, Orin Hair’s book The Leadership Secrets of Colic Powell, and David Lipase’s book Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point. In each of these works, the author does an exceptional job of depicting the various traits and characteristics necessary for being a powerful and effective deader.

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William Britton, born and raised in Boston, was appointed as New York City’s new police commissioner by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on December 2, 1993. William Britton was a leader who spent his whole life turning around low- performing, dyestuff-cantonal police departments. It was his specialty and it soon became his trademark. Bill Britton hit the ground running as the commissioner of police by implementing several policies and visions that he had, that many believed would be unfathomable in policing. His goals were revolutionary and unprecedented and would not be possible to achieve if not for his incredible adhering ability.

His ability as an effective leader allowed him to select intelligent, experienced, and quality individuals who shared identical beliefs and visions as he did. Any leader would agree that anything is possible through optimism, intelligent planning, and preparation, but nothing is possible if your chosen “executives” lack the leader’s confidence to operate freely and carry out the organization’s ultimate goals. Britton was a believer in Theodore Roosevelt ideology that “the best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self- restraint enough to keep room meddling with them while they do it. Britton was a master motivator. His optimism rubbed off on everyone around him and this reflected their performance. He had a belief that “leadership is the ability to enthuse and encourage the people in your organization so highly that, whatever idea is put into action, they embrace it so fully they forget the genesis and assume it was their own” (Britton pig. 155). This was Britton’s basic concept and he put it to work for him almost immediately in the New York City Police Department. Britton realized the task at hand and that it would not be easy.

He knew he was even the number one police job in the country as the commissioner of the NYPD, and he was ready. He knew that nothing would be possible without the support of his police officers. Morale was one of the big reasons that the NYPD was so run down upon Britton’s arrival. He set out to the 33rd precinct in Queens to let them know that things are about to change. Britton carefully selected this precinct as the one he would utilize in making his initial presence felt. Morale was exceptionally low in this precinct due to the murder of Officer Deed Byrne.

In February of 1988 Officer Byrne was sitting in his patrol car guarding the home of man who had informed on a drug dealer when he was shot to death by drug dealers. That was a vicious indicator of the life and times of police officers during that era, and Britton knew it. As Britton’s first “official act” as police commissioner, he stood in front of the 103 and began: “l said when I took this job that we would take this city back for the good people that live here, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, house by house.

But I’m going to need your help in doing that. I’m going to need all of you in the game. I want my cops to be cops. I want them to be assertive. I don’t want them walking by or looking the other way when they see something. No matter what the old rules were, I expect you to see something and take proper police action. I expect you to be honest. I expect you to uphold the oath that you took on the first day. If you get into problems doing your job, and you are doing it right, I’ll back you up. If you’re wrong, I’ll get you retrained and back to work.

If you are dirty or brutal, I’ll see to it that you are arrested, you are fired, and you are put in jail. ” Britton made it a point that things were going to change, and they were going to change sat because the “old way” would not be tolerated anymore. Britton wanted to bring three things to the department: “Pride, Commitment, and Respect. ” And he let his cops know it. He proceeded to tell the 103 that he wants them to be “proud of your city, your department, and of yourselves. Proud that you are cops in the greatest police department in the world. Britton continued to motivate every individual involved in his mission from the top brass, all the way down to the everyday police officers. Britton was a leader in every sense of the word. From the way he would motivate, to the way he would select effective top “executives”. Britton has a mentality that appears to be innate. He has the fire and willingness to take risks and conquer any challenge that comes his way as long as it would help his cause. He does not slow down for anyone and appears to speed up when resistance appears. He had a knack of facilitating great minds to think creatively and with no limits.

While interviewing Mike Julian for a job to become one of the members of his command staff, Britton told Julian “that’s the kind of attitude I want. I want people who are not only going to think differently, but who will be willing to go through walls to do it” (Britton pig. 203). Britton kooks for innate leadership characteristics in everybody he works with, and if he can find even a spark of what is necessary to excel, he has the ability to feed it so it becomes a roaring flame. Britton had a special appreciation for presiding over promotion ceremonies.

Studying Britton, it’s evident that it’s mainly because he knew what it meant for the cops who were being promoted and how it made them feel. As Britton was on his way out as the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, he presided over his last promotion ceremony at which time he addressed the troops for the last time along with his command staff at is side: “There are several things that always seek out in leaders. I seek out, first, a love of tradition. I seek out a love of city, I seek out a love of department, and I seek out those who love cops.

Because if you don’t, you cannot lead them, you cannot inspire them; you cannot when necessary, discipline them. Each and every one of the people on this stage has a very different personality. Every one of them. But they work together as a team because we share so many things, and the number one thing we share is a love of cops. ” Britton took the organization he ran and fine tuned it so that it functioned the way that he had envisioned it old. Through intelligence, motivation, inspiration, and team work, amongst many other fundamentals, Britton led an organization that was 38,000 strong to believe in him and his vision.

Rudolph Giuliani became the Mayor of New York City on January 1, 1994. Like any great and leader, his mark was left on City Hall even after his terms were served. Giuliani was mostly known for being the one, along with Britton, to begin the turnaround of New York City. Once he was in office, it took only one year to see dramatic changes in the streets of New York City. Not only in terms of crime rate, but in quality of life as well. He was a huge advocate on quality of life issues and improving the standards in which New Yorkers should live.

Giuliani was initially out to turn the city around, and once he was successful, he was given the daunting task of being the Mayor of a city that had just suffered the biggest terrorist attacks ever on American soil. It was September 11, 2001 and it was New York City and he was the Mayor. It was time for his Knowledge, skills, and abilities to be put to the test as a leader. Amongst turning New York City around for the better, Giuliani was given countless kudos for his performance as leader/ Mayor during this time. Giuliani always prided himself on his preparedness. He made it a big issue not only as mayor but as U. S. Attorney to prepare relentlessly for everything, no matter the task. He is a firm believer in creating a “culture of preparedness” amongst the people you as a leader are chosen to lead (Giuliani pig. 65). Giuliani held various principles at a very high standard when it came to leadership. ‘Relentless preparation” was on of them. Giuliani states that “if you want to be a leader you have to be prepared. The unexpected won’t be that unexpected if you prepare over and over again. Many feel that this was his method of dealing with the tragedies of September 1 lath and how he was able to put the people of NYC somewhat at ease.

Another principle that Giuliani feels is crucial in leadership is courage. Giuliani believes that as a leader “you have to have courage and that doesn’t mean the absence of fear. Life is about managing your fears. If you want to be a leader, you have to have courage. ” Being a leader is about making decisions that may not be favorable to everyone. As examined Leadership and Giuliani, he makes it a point that as a leader, one must follow is instincts and do what he feels is right for the betterment of the people you oversee and lead.

There will always be some resistance but if the ideology is right and there are positive signs all around you, a leader must persevere through the resistance. Many obstacles faced Giuliani throughout his career as U. S attorney and Mayor. His courage was put to the test when dealing with individuals or groups that he considered to be “bullies”. As kid Giuliani father was a successful boxer and he taught him the basics in terms of taking on individuals and remaining calm when being face with a threat (Giuliani pig. 265). As a U.

S attorney he was given the task of prosecuting the Mafia and corrupt government officials, which he states brought out the “intensity” in him because he couldn’t tolerate it when “predators take an unfair advantage” over others (Giuliani pig. 269). This is an innate trait that I feel Giuliani had which allowed him to evolve into the leader he is today. Another core principle that Giuliani places high on his list for a being a successful leader is accountability. Giuliani is a big believer in accountability and the results that it helps to produce.

On his desk he has a two- word sign that reads “I’m Responsible” (Giuliani pig. 9). Giuliani ultimate goal is to implement that into all of his employees and subordinates. It is his belief that if an individual is held accountable for his work and his actions, than this individual is more apt to perform to the best of his or her ability. As the leader, it was not only important for him to ensure that this principle was embedded into all of his subordinates, but it was more important for him to realize that this accountability and responsibility begins with him, as the leader (Giuliani pig. 0). Giuliani possesses the traits that most leaders encompass such as optimism, teamwork, and communication. To be a leader, you have to be an optimist. By and large people follow hopes, dreams, and solutions to problems. ” Optimism is contagious. As a leader it’s almost mandatory in order to gain the support of followers. Teamwork is another element that goes hand in hand with success. “The best way to put together a good team is to balance the team with your weaknesses. It is critically important to find your weaknesses and then balance them with other people’s strengths. As a leader it is crucial to have the ability to select effective, successful executives. These executives are going to reflect oh as the leader with the decisions they make and these executives will also be the ones to provide you with knowledge on various topics they specialize in. The value of selecting effective executives can never be underestimated (Giuliani pig. 31). Communication is another element of leadership that a leader cannot afford to under- emphasize. “To be an effective leader, you have to communicate to people what is expected of them. Any leader is only as good as his word”.

When it comes to communicating beliefs and ideas, “a leader’s word is not only an emblem of trust but a critical device in spreading the message. ” In order to e successful as a leader, first and foremost, it must be clear what the leader is attempting to accomplish, produce, and achieve (Giuliani p. 1 97). Colic Powell is amongst the most influential and successful leaders that this world has ever seen. Working his way up as a young boy from Harlem, Powell earned endless honors in the U. S. Army and retired with full honors as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1993.

He served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs under President George H. Bush and President William Clinton. In his retirement years, Powell was one of the most sought- after public speakers in the world. With his extensive and illustrious career in the military and in the Whitehorse, Powell had leadership abilities that everyone was fascinated with. On December 16, 2000, Powell was nominated by George W. Bush to be secretary of state. After being unanimously confirmed in the U. S. Senate, he was sworn in as the sixty- fifth secretary of state on January 20, 2001 (Hair pig. ). Colic Powell has many traits that he implements within his organizations that allow him to lead people effectively. Previously in the U. S. Army and now in the Whitehorse, Powell kept it his number one priority to be above all, a gentleman. It is clear to Powell that intimidated and frightened people don’t take initiative or responsibility, and their organizations suffer as a result (Hair pig. 17). Along with being a gentleman, Powell realizes that respect is a two way street and it must be given to those whom you expect it from.

Amongst the traits that are important to Powell in regard to running a successful organization is responsibility. “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off’. According to Powell, good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions (Hair pig. 55). As most leaders can attest to, it is impossible to make everyone happy. To make people angry is sometimes a good indicator that you are being an effective leader simply because it is impossible to have full 100% support all the time.

There is always some resistance and to see that you are effectively angering those who do not care to perform effectively, you have accomplished something. It is important as a leader to stay firm on your beliefs even if it means “pissing people off’. Another important attribute that I realized Powell encompasses is the ability to remain close to his troops/ subordinates. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. As a leader it is Bowel’s belief that he must be truly ingrained into the very fabric of his organization. To know what’s going on and to know the soldiers/individuals involved in making the organization run. It is a must for a leader to have the ability to be in touch with his subordinates and to hear their issues, problems, and or complaints. Once a leader has lost touch tit his subordinates in any way, shape , or form, he is no longer a leader but only a figure head who will achieve negative results one way or another (Hair pig. 256). To pay close attention to details is one of Bowel’s prime attributes. Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant. ” Details are what will allow a plan or a vision to succeed or fail. If not fully aware of the details involved in any given mission, one is almost doomed for failure. Details are crucially important and the ability to be aware of details is what separates the leaders from the followers. Leaders are there to be fine tuned to details at all times (Hair pig. 257). As we saw with the previous leaders, risk taking is a big part of being in a leadership role. You don’t know what you can get away with until you try. ” Leaders are given their roles as leaders because it is their job to make decisions that are going to affect the entire outfit. It is also their job to make decisions that they may not have had time to go over and discuss and get approval for. To feel the need to wait for a “yes” in order to do something may sometimes be detrimental to an organization ND it is the difference between a person who is a manager and a person who is a leader. A leader, according to Powell, must feel and act empowered to make critical decisions based on his or her judgment.

Sometimes this means trying to get away with more than you thought you could (Hair pig. 257). Colic Powell is a big believer in people. He believes above all else, people are the reason for success. They are the ones making things happen. “Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds. ” Although this expression may seem obvious to some, it is a shame that it is not always practiced.

Organizations spend endless amounts of money developing the most effective “plans” or “systems” when it’s obvious to Powell that no matter what the system, the people who are running the system and participating in its everyday workings, are the ones that are affecting the organization the most (Hair pig. 258). Thus, a leader must focus most of his time, wits, and energy in picking the right people. ‘Bowel’s rules for picking people- Look for intelligence and judgment, most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners.

Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego and the drive to get things done. ” Powell sums up the main characteristics he looks for when picking people to run a successful organization. “Any organization no matter the type can be successful if the right people are involved. Give me good people and I’ll give you a successful organization” (Hair pig. 259). It has become self evident to me that Colic Powell is a people person. From the way he carries himself as a “gentleman” towards his people, to the way e puts them ahead of everything else when running an organization.

He is a respected and respectful leader who takes great pride in the things that matter in a human being like a balanced ego, loyalty, and integrity. West Point is an institution that is referred to by most as a “leadership laboratory. ” As David Lipids was given full rights and authority to travel throughout this novelty of an institution, he saw the sky as his limit. The opportunity of a lifetime to illustrate the life and times of the cadets and all individuals involved in the make up of this exceptional institution.

President Theodore Roosevelt was present at the West Point centennial in 1902 at which time he delivered these words: “Of all the institutions in this country, none is more absolutely American; none, in the proper sense of the word, more absolutely democratic than this. Here we care nothing for the boy’s birthplace, nor his creed, nor his social standing; here we care nothing save for his worth as he is able to show it. Here you represent, with almost mathematical exactness, all the country geographically.

You are drawn from every walk of life by a method of choice made to insure, and which in the great majority of cases does insure, hat heed shall be paid to nothing save the boy’s aptitude for the profession into which he seeks entrance. Here you come together as representatives of America in a higher and more peculiar sense that can possibly be true of any other institution in the land. ” West Point is to discipline and loyalty as Church is to religion and faith. It is no surprise after reading this book why graduates of West Point are held to such a high standard.

Although many people have an idea as to what west Point is all about, after examining this work it is clear that West Point is a breeding ground for leadership. All of the characteristics that West Point sakes a point to develop in it’s cadets are the characteristics that are crucial in running a successful organization and being an effective leader. West Point exerts all of it’s time and energy in molding cadets to one day lead the military of the United States; “to educate, train, and inspire the corps of cadets for a career as an officer in the United States Army”.

As they do this they are simultaneously molding these young men and women in becoming quality human beings with great respect, integrity, and loyalty (Lipids pig. 57). West Point as the military institution constantly faces it’s cadets with challenges and tasks that they never Hough they would see in their lifetime. Everything from the way they groom themselves to the way they keep their rooms, to the way they maintain their physical stature is microscopically inspected on a daily basis. There are rules and regulations for everything imaginable and each rule and regulation must be abided by to the tee.

Perhaps it is this mentality that molds these young men and women into the leaders and soldiers they turn out to be. The reality that things must be done at a specific time in a specific way and there are no exceptions. Although there is a lot more involved in being an effective leader, the orneriness that are set while at West Point are as instrumental as can be. After evaluating and discussing many different aspects of what makes up an effective leader, it is clear that there cannot be one clear- cut and dry definition of what a leader is.

A leader is a make up of many different attributes and qualities. An effective Leader encompasses all of the attributes which go along with facilitating ideas and allowing an organization to grow and flourish, as well as inspiring and motivating those he or she oversees to do the same. A Leader has the ability and almost the reflex action to surface when it is time for a difficult ask to be accomplished or a difficult decision to be made. Leadership may be a type of management but a manager is not always a leader. Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.