Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani took center court Sunday at Boulder's Coors Events Center, outlining his personal beliefs on leadership to a crowd of more than 3000.
In a speech entitled "Leadership in Tough Times," which was sponsored by University of Colorado in Boulder's Distinguished Speakers Board, Giuliani described his personal leadership style and what he feels are characteristics that make a great leader.
"Above all, a great leader must learn how to love people, because ultimately you are leading people," Giuliani said. "People need you the most when things go wrong. You have got to be there when things go wrong to support those you are leading."
Beyond loving those that one leads, a great leader is made up of six qualities: strong personal beliefs, optimism, courage, relentless preparation, the ability to work with a team and strong communication ability, Giuliani said.
"I believe that leaders can be made, because it is what a leader learns that makes them the leader they are," Giuliani said. "You can teach principles to make someone a leader."
Giuliani spoke about three leaders he feels exemplified the six characteristics of great leadership, mentioning former President Ronald Reagan, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the recently deceased Pope John Paul II, who died on Saturday.
"Dr. King, President Reagan, and Pope John Paul II all had strong personal beliefs that they led by," Giuliani said. "I feel that politicians today are shaped too much by public opinion polls. The public's opinion is very important, but a leader must have their own personal beliefs to be able to navigate through difficult times.
Giuliani, a former Deputy Attorney General was Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2001, along with being knighted by the Queen of England for his leadership during the September 11, 2001 crisis. Giuliani said he led New York City after Sept. 11 as well as he could with his existing knowledge and experience.
"There was no plan entitled 'Planes flown into buildings like missiles' for me to follow, but there were plans already in place that had been prepared for other disasters, like a plane crash or building collapse," Giuliani said, while explaining the need for preparation as a leader.
"As I was making the decisions on how to deal with 9/11, I just needed to link all the plans together that we already had, that we were prepared for," Giuliani said.
In a pre-speech press conference, Giuliani commented on the recent events surrounding CU's Ward Churchill, the professor who classified the victims of Sept. 11 as Nazi's.
"The people he was talking about are people I knew, people who I attended memorial services for," Giuliani said. "His remarks were extremely cruel and damaging, and caused a tremendous amount of pain to innocent people. His comments belied a lack of knowledge."
Although angered and offended by Churchill's comments, Giuliani stood by the importance of the First Amendment, and an individuals right to free speech.
"The First Amendment is one of our most important rights," Giuliani said. "People have the right to say anything they want, but others also have the right to draw conclusions from those comments."
Giuliani ended his speech with a message not just about leadership, but about life.
"Nobody makes it through life without serious problems and crisis," Giuliani said. "It is how one deals with those problems that makes them who they are."