Cuddling Michael BloombergPosted: August 29, 2011
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been omnipresent on US television over the past week . As mayor of the largest city in the path of Hurricane Irene, he was necessarily very aggressive in communicating a plan to keep people in New York City safe. It seems to me that if people didn’t get the message the man was putting out there, they weren’t listening.
This isn’t about messaging, storm surge or evacuation. It’s bigger than those things.
Stand By Your Man
Responding to a crisis such as a hurricane is a team effort. The mayor can’t evacuate people; I don’t think he is going to restore anyone’s utilities. Mayors have their trusted people that they rely on, just like the rest of us.
Unlike some people I have worked for, Bloomberg seems to be good about showing that the people around him are the ones who truly make the wheels turn. At every press conference, he has some of those people gathered around him.
Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Besides the conclusion that the mayor of New York understands something about leadership that some bosses don’t, I have been able to reach one other conclusion about Michael Bloomberg. The man has no need for personal space. At every press conference, he has his people with him, but they are right on top of him. They are on the man like a prom date.
Why? Is this the mayor’s preference? New York is a big city that generates a lot of money. Money that could be used to upfit the press conference room with a deeper stage. Why hasn’t anyone looked at this and realized how ridiculous it appears?
If I were the mayor of New York, I too would have my best people on the job with me. When I took to the podium to tell everyone how it would be, I’d have those people with me so that the people could tell I had the best minds involved in coming up with my decisions. But if I got up on the podium and I could feel my best people were in my personal space like Bloomberg’s are, I’d have to stop the press conference. I’d stop the press conference and I’d have to tell them, “either back up off me, or find someone to move this damned podium forward”.
But hey, what do I know? I’ve never been a mayor. Maybe that job makes you need your people to cuddle you. For now, I’ll just be glad my people are behind me.
Figuratively behind me.