Leaders Know What They Believe In

Leaders come with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and it’s through the sharing of these experiences we come to learn and understand our own roles as leaders. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani shared four lessons on leadership.

#1 – Know What You Believe
The first and the most important, I believe, is that you have to know what you believe if you want to be a leader. You have to have strong beliefs. You have to know what you stand for. You can’t lead other people unless you know what you stand for. You have to spend a great deal of your time trying to figure that out and trying to determine what’s important to you, what goals do you want to achieve.

#2 – You Have To Be An Optimist
If you want to be a leader, you have to be an optimist. In fact, if you want to have fun, you should be an optimist. Optimists have a lot more fun than pessimists. But if you want to be a leader, you’ve got to be an optimist.

#3 – You Have To Have Ethics and Morality
You have to have ethics and morality, and you have to have a sense of right and wrong, because the principles that I’ve just mentioned, and a lot of other principles of leadership can be used for good or for bad… You have to have a sense of ethics. You have to be able to ask yourself, right or wrong.

#4 – You Have To Be Prepared
The final principle that I would discuss with you of leadership is relentless preparation. If you want to be a leader, you’ve got to be prepared… If you prepare for everything that you can anticipate, you’ll be prepared even for the unanticipated.

Source: Rudolph Giuliani, Middlebury College, May 22, 2005
Transcript: http://www.middlebury.edu/newsroom/commencement/2005/node/256480