Factors Related to Effective Leadership

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Bill DeBlasio and Andrew Cuomo are examples of political leaders who have achieved prolonged success in the history of the United States. Leadership can be defined as an individual’s capacity to guide a group of people towards the attainment of specific goals and objectives (Viteritti, 2017). In organizations, it is closely linked with management because it enhances efficiency and promotes the attainment of organizational mission and vision. Leadership traits refer to personal qualities that are responsible for the attainment of effectiveness in leaders. Research has shown that there are key traits that every leader should have in order to succeed at the fulfillment of their vision (Koehn, 2017). The success of the two leaders in various roles that they have held can be attributed to effective management styles through which their objectives and vision have been actualized. Decisiveness, effective communication skills, empathy, vision, delegation, adaptability, as well as accountability and responsibility are the qualities that Bill DeBlasio and Andrew Cuomo possess.

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Bill DeBlasio’s Style of Leadership

Mr. DeBlasio is an American Democratic politician, who currently serves as the mayor of New York City. He has previously served as the campaign manager of Hillary Clinton during her successful senatorial bid in 2000. Before assuming office in his current position in 2014, Mayor DeBlasio had served New York City as a councilor from 2002 to 2009. From an early age, he exhibited leadership skills and proved himself to be well informed on matters of politics as evidenced by his student activist agendas in high school and college (Viteritti, 2017). His experience working as a social relief volunteer in Nicaragua after graduate school provided him with an early opportunity to understand the dynamics of international and public affairs. This experience influenced his commitment to socialist ideologies. Mayor DeBlasio’s first involvement in municipal politics was in 1989, when he was part of the campaign team of mayoral aspirant, David Dinkins (Viteritti, 2017). Seven years later, he was appointed to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a regional director, where he worked under the stewardship of Mr. Andrew Cuomo.

In his different leadership roles, Mayor DeBlasio emphasized the need for teamwork and open deliberations. One of his former workers during his time as a council member said that he always wanted to hear every viewpoint and opinion from his team members on why something they were working on would either succeed or fail. Though this style of leadership drew a lot of criticism, Mr. DeBlasio has always believed in the power of diversity and creating an inclusive environment that enables everyone to exploit his or her strengths to the maximum (Viteritti, 2017). This made his critics describe him as indecisive, an element that most of his competitors used against him when he announced his intention to run for office as the mayor of New York City in 2013. Mayor DeBlasio campaign gained momentum as his supporters felt that he embodied the kind of change the city needed after more than a decade under the leadership of Michael Bloomberg who had failed to deliver substantively on his agenda (Viteritti, 2017). His support for the mayoral position transcended class and racial divides that characterize the dynamics of New York City.

In the seven years that Mayor DeBlasio has been in office, he has demonstrated to be a transformative leader. Transformational leaders work together with their juniors to achieve their vision by inspiring and motivating them (Koehn, 2017). They believe in activating follower self-efficacy so that individuals can do their best (Viteritti, 2017). This guidance strategy is characterized by elements such as charisma, vision, individualized reflection, and rational incentives. One of his earliest and notable achievements was the increased security and the bold urban development projects that made the city more pleasant. During his mayoral campaigns, Mayor DeBlasio focused on the urgent need to address the challenge of economic inequality that characterized life in the city (Viteritti, 2017). In a theme dubbed “The tale of two cities”, he argued that New York had two categories of people with one group doing incredibly well, and the other having to endure endless struggles to afford life’s requirements. In a bid to achieve this feat, he promised to increase taxes on those that had an annual income of more than a half a million dollars. This effort faced resistance from state legislators who felt that it would have negative effects on tax revenues because wealthy taxpayers would be forced to leave. Early on in his first term, he fulfilled his campaign promise of providing access to education by making pre-kindergarten available to all four-year-old children living in the city.

High rates of crime in New York City have proven to be an unending problem that threatens to cripple its economy as more people continually relocate to safer cities. As a way of reducing crime in the city, Mayor DeBlasio promised to reform the stop-and-frisk program of the New York City Police Department. Under the crime management plan, police had the authority to stop, question, and frisk any person suspected of involvement in criminal activities without any probable cause (Viteritti, 2017). He did not support the manner in which the plan was executed as he felt it was unfair to target members of minority groups such as African Americans. Although his critics were opposed to his intention of changing the approach to crime management, Mayor DeBlasio successfully managed to lower the city’s crime rate. This is an example of visionary leadership; the mayor had a vision of streamlining the frisk policy in order to transform it from a racial bias tool into a crime-deterred strategy (Viteritti, 2017). The decline in the city’s crime rates is an evidence of Mr. DeBlasio’s attainment of his vision, achieved through cooperation with other members of his team.

As a political leader, one of Mayor DeBlasio’s greatest gifts is his openness and willingness to accommodate the viewpoints of others. This approach encourages the establishment of an inclusive leadership that values the ideas and opinions of every individual whether they are in a leadership position or not (Carroll et al., 2019). This is only possible if a leader is humble and always willing to learn from other people (Koehn, 2017). Most of the people that have worked with him attest to the fact that Mayor DeBlasio epitomizes a sense of shared purpose, which is a necessity for success as a public administrator (Viteritti, 2017).

Mayor DeBlasio is approachable and an easy person to talk to, traits that have enabled him to ride a wave discontent from the supporters of his predecessors who had developed a culture of imposing their authority in making of decisions. Over the years, he has demonstrated his ability and willingness to lean down to the level of voters in a bid to connect with their challenges, needs, and interests (Viteritti, 2017). During his time as a councilor, Mayor DeBlasio exhibited the traits of a demanding leader, whose focus was bringing sustainable change and deliver on promises in a timely and substantive manner. Additionally, he likes working with young and dedicated individuals because he has the ability to mentor and mold them to fit properly into his work ethic.

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Former Congressman Charlie Rangel described Mayor DeBlasio as an unusually talented individual who had the ability to make political contributions on his own conviction. Rangel had engaged his services in 1994 for his reelection campaign, when he noticed his unique leadership abilities at such a young age. Although he noted that Mayor DeBlasio was also unusually nice for a campaign manager, Rangel was quick to affirm that it did not affect his effectiveness (Viteritti, 2017). This niceness can be attributed to the fact that he was fair and ethical in his dealings, traits that are described as signs of weakness in the political field. Mayor DeBlasio’s experience as a campaign manager has contributed a lot to his style of leadership, which involves a hands-on approach to issues (Viteritti, 2017). Campaigns help one to understand the policy, political, and communication dynamics involved in running a government office in an effective manner. The Clintons are one of the people that have had the most influence on the leadership style of Mayor DeBlasio. They are known to believe in bringing everyone within their team to perform at the highest possible level. He has a similar approach to the attainment of goals because as mentioned earlier, he is a great supporter of teamwork, and a leader who believes in rallying people together for the achievement of a common purpose.

As Mr. DeBlasio’s tenure as the mayor of New York City nears an end, he has redeemed his legacy amidst a global pandemic that has resulted in job losses, a surge in crime, and increased exodus of residents. To date, corona virus has killed more than 25,000 people in New York City, a phenomenon that has seen more than 300,000 people relocating to other cities. The unemployment rate in the city is 12.1%, thus the reason for the increasing cases of burglary and gun violence. Despite the numerous challenges associated with the pandemic, Mayor DeBlasio has managed to maintain the stability of New York City. With the city having lost all manner of revenue, he has taken a strategic and tactical approach to keep everything going on smoothly. With the little time left, the people of New York City believe that Mayor DeBlasio is the right person to steer them towards recovering their businesses and the city’s economy. His hands-on approach to dealing with issues will play a pivotal role in achieving this objective.

Andrew Cuomo’s Style of Leadership

Mr. Andrew Mark Cuomo is an American politician, and the current governor of New York City. He has served in that position since 2011, and he is a member of the Democratic Party. An author and a lawyer, Governor Cuomo graduated from Fordham University and Albany Law School of Union University, New York. Throughout his political career, he has held several leadership positions, including his father’s campaign manager, the chair of the National Governors Association, an assistant District Attorney in New York, and as the chair of the New York City Homeless Commission. Each of these appointments played a significant role in developing his leadership style that is responsible for the level of success that he has achieved in politics. Between 1990 and 1993, Governor Cuomo served as the head of the New York City Homeless Commission, and later worked as the Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban development for Community planning and Development for three years, between 1993 and 1997 (Beheshti, 2020). Governor Cuomo served as a member of cabinet n President Clinton’s government in the capacity of the secretary of housing and urban development. He first became the governor of New York City in 2010, after having worked as the Attorney General of the city in 2006. He has served three terms as the governor, and his winning streak is proof of his effective leadership.

One of the traits that define Governor Cuomo’s leadership is vulnerability. The governor has successfully balanced his authority as a leader with a degree of warmth that has been fostered through vulnerability and empathy (Beheshti, 2020). In several instances during interviews and press conferences, he has been cited as saying “I do not know’ in response to a question. It is very rare for a leader to expose his lack of knowledge regarding a certain topic or situation, especially in the political field. Many critics have described this vulnerability as a sign of weakness. However, it is the mark of a leader who is self-aware and who is willing to learn from others (Carroll et al., 2019). In that regard, Cuomo has turned it into a strength that has won him the hearts of many Americans.

Governor Cuomo is very vigorous regarding what he knows, thus endearing him to people when he talks about what he does not know (Beheshti, 2020). This vulnerability has led to the development of a high level of trust among his people. This trait has been exemplified in his method of dealing with the Corona virus pandemic. Instead of telling people not to worry because all is well, he gives them the facts without manipulating information to make himself look good (Beheshti, 2020). His candor regarding his government’s method of dealing with the pandemic requires a high level of vulnerability. He is more concerned with containing the disease rather than taking actions that will give him a fourth term as the governor.

Compassion and empathy are also key elements of his leadership style. This is evident from his handling of the Corona virus pandemic in the state of New York. For example, his actions have shown his resolve to mitigate the effects of the disease without being utterly overconfident. He understands that locking down the economy of the state is detrimental to the livelihoods of many people. On the other hand, he understands that keeping the people healthy should be the main goal of his government. Therefore, he exercises compassion and empathy without losing his focus and strategy (Beheshti, 2020). Governor Cuomo has been described as an example of how leaders should handle a crisis.

Governor Cuomo does not pretend to have a perfect plan that will ensure that the health, livelihoods and the economy are not affected. However, he has demonstrated the application of various behaviors and strategic actions that are aimed at taking the state successfully through the crisis with minimal losses. Many businesses are in crisis, and the employees have been overwhelmed by fear and the uncertainty regarding the future. Citizens are worried about their health and their ability to resist financial ruin amidst the ravaging effects of the disease. The governor is empathetic about what the people are going through, by balancing his power with compassion (Beheshti, 2020). He is doing this by being open regarding his government’s plans and admitting what he does not know.

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Effective communication is another trait that characterizes Governor Cuomo’s leadership. Research has shown that effective communication is a key leadership quality that is practiced by explaining succinctly to employees the organization’s goals, mission and vision (Carroll et al., 2019). The ability to communicate at all levels within an organization is a mark of effective leadership. Governor Cuomo has demonstrated the importance of communicating effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic by being blunt and candid with the people (Beheshti, 2020). Throughout this period, he has reiterated the importance of not hiding bad news during a crisis because it leads to speculations, which eventually fuels anxiety. Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his leadership abilities as he faces call to resign over allegations of a cover-up related to a nursing home that failed to report COVID-19 deaths. He took responsibility for the mistake and admitted that his government should have provided all the necessary information as quickly as possible. He promised to propose reforms regarding the way nursing homes and hospitals should handle such issues during the next state budget.

Governor Cuomo has told people the truth about the crisis and presented to them his plan to remedy the situation. He has refrained from sugarcoating the truth because he understands the effects that hiding the truth from people can have on the effective management of a crisis. Governor Cuomo has been consistent, and as mentioned earlier, he has disclosed what he knows and what he does not know (Beheshti, 2020). More importantly, he has inspired confidence and cooperation among the citizens, giving them hope for a brighter future.

Governor Cuomo has been praised for his management of the COVID-19 outbreak that has destabilized many economies around the world. During interviews and public addresses, he is always calm, provides briefings concisely, and he addresses prevailing issues comprehensively. His communication style has inspired confidence in the resident of New York. Clarity is a major component of his communication style. He has been cited on numerous instances as one of the leaders who use PowerPoint effectively to conduct presentations (Beheshti, 2020). He uses the visual tool to enhance the clarity of his thoughts and enhance comprehension among the audience.


The steering of an organization to success is primarily determined by the leadership styles of its management team. The effective leadership of Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo is characterized by qualities that include decisiveness, empathy, compassion, vision, effective communication, transparency, responsibility, and adaptability. Mayor DeBlasio epitomizes transformative leadership, which is defined by the promotion of innovation, creativity, and change. He advocates for teamwork, promotes diversity in the workplace, and gives employees opportunities that enable them to grow to their fullest potential. Mayor DeBlasio’s willingness to accommodate the viewpoints of others helps in winning the trust and support of his team members. Governor Cuomo embodies servant leadership as characterized by his vulnerability, openness, empathy, effective communication skills, and compassion when dealing with issues affecting people. His leadership has developed confidence in the citizens of New York, mainly because of his unique way of managing a crisis.


Beheshti, N. (2020). Steady hand in a crisis: What business leaders can learn from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Forbes.

Carroll, B., Ford, J., & Taylor, S. (2019). Leadership: Contemporary critical perspectives. SAGE.

Koehn, N. (2017). Forged in crisis: The power of courageous leadership in turbulent times. Simon and Schuster.

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Viteritti, J. P. (2017). The pragmatist: Bill DeBlasio’s quest to save the soul of New York (1st ed.). Oxford University Press.

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