Whether it was leading his constituents and the nation through the aftermath of Sept.11, 2001, or personally facing the threat of a life-threatening disease, Rudy Giuliani leaned on the principles of leadership that he's developed during a career of public service.

The former mayor of New York City, who was also a federal prosecutor and is now mentioned as a possible future presidential and senatorial candidate, addressed the 1,660 attendees of the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association's (NEMRA) 35th annual conference in New York City on Feb. 18.

Looking back at what he, the city and the nation faced following the attacks of Sept. 11, Giuliani said, “I had been through every problem imaginable — airplane crashes, high-rise fires and hostage situations, but I never went through anything like that before in my life.”

Giuliani's six principles of leadership are:

Strong beliefs

“If you don't have strong personal beliefs, you can't lead anyone,” he said.

Optimism

“Imagine what would happen if I said, ‘Things are lousy and they're going to get worse — follow me.’ No one would follow that kind of person. Most of New York City and the whole country follow hopes, dreams and the fulfillment of dreams. That's the magnet of dreamers. Reagan was considered a hopeless optimist and that's why people followed him.”

Courage

“Courage is not the absence of fear,” he said. “Rather, courage is the ability to manage fear in order to do what you must do.”

Relentless preparation

Giuliani noted that his career as an attorney taught him that cases are won during the preparation performed in the office, not in the courtroom. He recalled that as he approached the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, “I froze and realized we had never faced anything like this before — we didn't have a written plan to follow. But then, we began acting and everything we did grew out of a plan — situations we had faced before. If you even prepare for the unanticipated, you're ready.”

Teamwork

“Success has nothing to do with an individual, rather it's all about the team working together,” said Giuliani. “You have to ask the question, ‘What are my weaknesses and how do I balance those weaknesses with the strengths of others around me?’”

Communication

“If you properly possess the first five principles of leadership, then communication is just talking to people,” Giuliani said. “Some leaders are fiery, others are understated, but communication is just getting out of your mind the things you want others to do.”

NMG FORUM TACKLES GENERATIONAL ISSUES

A panel discussion at NEMRA's Manufacturers' Group (NMG) forum entitled “Leadership and Development for the Next Generation” gave ideas on how to best utilize generational talents.

Setting the stage for the discussion, moderator Robert Wendover, managing director of The Center for Generational Studies, Aurora, Colo., outlined the four generations making up today's work force: Matures born before 1946; Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964; Generation Xers born between 1965 and 1980; and Millennials born between 1981 and 1999. After Wendover set the discussion stage, panel members took over.

Willis Milner, United Electrical Sales, Orlando, Fla., said, “In general, the oldest of our employees live to work, while the youngest work to live.”

A younger panel member, Jeff Sherman, electrical marketing manager, PW Eagle, Eugene, Ore., said, “Younger people, including myself, are skeptical about trusting outsiders, quick to adopt technology to solve problems, and we're easily frustrated with baby boomers who don't want to change the way they do things.”

Other panel members included Kelly Boyd, ElectroRep Inc., Sausalito, Calif.; Tom Fisher, Fishco & Associates, St. Louis; John Hoffman, The Wiremold Co., West Hartford, Conn.; and Gary Norris, Ilsco, Cincinnati.