Loyalty: The Vital Virtue

October 16, 2010

Loyalty:  The Vital Virtue

“Leadership” by Rudolph Giuliani with Ken Kurson   exhorts helpful true-to-life stories leading people and inspiring them.

Once wanting to be a priest or doctor back in college, Rudolph W. Giuliani was elected the 107th mayor of the City of New York in 1993.  Prior to becoming mayor, he had been Associate Attorney General, the third highest position in the United States Department of Justice, a position left in 1983 to become US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.   Hew was voted Time’s “2001 Person of the Year.”

“My mother exerted tremendous influence on my education.  She loved to teach,” says Giuliani.

The author’s experiences brought him to fulfilling his dreams, and inspiring/supporting people, especially those he worked with.

One of Giuliani’s lessons as a leader, tells the quotation from Thomas De Quincey  “If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing; he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking; and from that to incivility and procrastination.”  It’s all connected and it goes both ways.  The quotation appears in the movie version “Prince of the City,” Sidney Lumet film).

A real leader wants his managers to be strong.  He must establish the best in each player.
Any high-achievement environment attracts people who are relatively independent.  They’re used to calling the shots.  Forcing them to work together creates tension and tension breads creative solution with each person striving to push the project further.

This is using creative tension for everyone to work hard, but supportive of the bigger common goals.

Development of beliefs, communicating them,  and taking action  are the three critical stages in a good leadership.  

In Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” the Duke of Mantua muses to the courtesans about the fickleness of women:  “La donna e mobile qual piuma al vento, muta d’accento, e di pensier.”  (I am  known to sing this without much provocation.) After the opera, a woman dies through misplaced loyalty to the Duke.

Loyalty is the vital virtue of a good leader.  It is standing by someone who is under fire and embracing those who are attacked.

Loyalty has been showed in various lives of martyrs, saints, leaders, generals, and heroes, among others.  Classic and popular films, especially war pictures (Gladiator/Last Samurai/St. Pancratius/Joan of Arc/ Martyrs of Vietnam etc.) show the true measure of loyalty when leaders die for his men in battle fields, and martyrs die for God and service.

/Rosalinda Flores Martinez
October 19, 2010


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