The Leader of the Year
This past year we have witnessed a most horrific tragedy that will mark September 11, 2001 as one of the darkest days in our history. The event has indeed changed our lives, and our perceptions of fear, security, ethics, values, religion, fanatacism, terrorism, justice, freedom, travel, work, news, family, friends, associates, partners, allies, loved ones, heroes and leaders. The event has had a very profound influence on all we cherish in our lives. To the families of the many innocent victims and the heroes that lost their lives attempting to save them - we share your deep loss and sorrow. We share your grief. We share your outrage. This was an evil act against humanity. We will stand with you to see justice served, and to see the heinous threat of terrorism eliminated from our global community.
Great leaders appear to emerge in times of crisis - and regardless of the theories and the rhetoric and the fads and buzz words the test of great leadership is found in the hearts and minds of the people that follow. Great leadership provides us what we need to cope and to grieve and to heal and to hope and be resilient. Great leaders in times of crisis provide us comfort and clarity and information and confidence and direction. Great leaders also provide us inspiration. They are our anchors. They are our beacons, our navigators, our captains, our pilots.
Great leaders know and share our pain and concerns. They know and share our uncertainty. They care. They are 'larger than life' yet are as human and fallible and uncertain and as afraid as we all are. And yet they can find the courage and sense of personal responsibility to take on the 'larger' challenge of leading us through most difficult and trying times.
Rudy Giuliani cares, without pretense or political correctness. He was there in the action at ground zero and knowing we needed information made the time to do his best to provide it. He gave us hope and rallied and focussed his 'troops' on the unprecented task at hand. He also stood front and center to deliver the worst of the news when hope for survivors was lost. He inspired his 'people' and mobilized a massive support and recovery effort. A city and community of service providers and citizens responded with heroic efforts and caring initiatives.
Rudy Giuliani demonstrated a genuine dedication to his community, his constituents and his country - and so many of his heroes have been lost. He is so very human - and is an exceptional leader and inspiration.
Mr. Giuliani, you leave a great legacy - thank you.
See also Leadership at 'Ground Zero' by Anne Riches