04 November 2012 · By Kylie Davis
Using the same principles New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani followed to lead the Big Apple out of crime, poverty, and urban decay, news organisations can plot their own rescue.
“You can’t do any worse.”
Rudy Giuliani won what many thought was the poisoned chalice of the office of the mayor of New York City with a slogan that was nothing if not refreshing in its honesty.
But, according to Giuliani, who spoke in Sydney last week, the secret to good leadership is to have a big idea, a vision of what you want things to look like, and the commitment to removing the obstacles that will prevent you from executing your plan.
He says to create real change is simple: You just need a philosophy and a process.
His inspiration came from standing in the middle of Times Square and thinking not about the problems of crime, poverty, prostitution, and urban decay, but dreaming of what the future would look like if those issues no longer existed.
“When I became the mayor I decided that the most important thing to have was a group of ideas — a vision for how things could and should be,” he said. “I was determined to change the way the way the city thought about itself.”
His lessons outlined a roadmap that could rescue a news company just as easily as it turned around a broken, crime-riddled, bankrupt city. (Not to say it’s easy. But if seemingly impossible obstacles have been accomplished in our time, why not again?)
Giuliani also did all these things with only minority political support; he was one of only four Republicans on the New York City legislature, with an opposition of six Democrats. He did it without any real power base except for the enthusiasm he could instill in his people and his constituents.
His leadership was also credited with helping New York both cope with and survive the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.
It puts a totally fresh perspective on some of the dramas we all face back at the office.
Here is my take on the leadership lessons for newspapers from Rudy Giuliani.
When Giuliani left office, tourism in New York was up by more than 4 million people, as visitors flocked to a city they suddenly felt safe in. His policies cut the crime rate by 55%, and even the pope declared New York City as the capital of the world. It was a hell of a turnaround.
Can newspapers pull off a similar miracle? Could we do any worse but to try?
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About this blog
My name is Kylie Davis, and I'm national real estate editor for News Ltd. in Sydney, Australia, as well as an undergraduate at the AGSM MBA program at the University of New South Wales. I'm passionate about vibrant, creative and entrepreneurial newspapers; about giving oxygen to great journalism; creating connected and engaged communities of readers and advertisers; and smashing down any barriers or closed mindedness that prevents the above.
May 2013 ( 1 )