One Leader + Four Words = Great Legacy

 |  Leadership

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This past weekend I was in Tempe, Arizona to attend the dedication of Neil G. Giuliano Park, named in honor of my brother Neil who served ten years as mayor of Tempe. Neil was first elected mayor 20 years ago this week. During his tenure as mayor, Tempe underwent a revitalization of its downtown, a tremendous amount of development commenced and the city experienced an influx of investment. The dedication is a testament to what he’s done. The number of citizens who attended and the friends who flew in from around the country are a testament to who he is. His remarks at the ceremony are a testament to what he believes. He is a true servant-leader.

Neil’s remarks this weekend were in keeping with his style of leadership. He deflected praise, instead thanking all those who supported him over the years. He expressed admiration for others and gratitude for the team effort to make Tempe a great place to live and a destination for many to visit. He acknowledged all the friends and colleagues who work with him and support him in his current work on behalf of the LGBT community and all of us as CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation.  And then he called on those in attendance to aspire to service.

He summed up his remarks with a reminder that there are four words that universally are included in important and powerful conversations: please, sorry, thanks, and love. Four great words for life and for leadership.

I was thrilled to be present for the dedication of Neil G. Giuliano Park. I am proud of my brother for the leader he is and the man he continues to become. He’s on the journey. As I continue my journey, I’ll strive to use those four words more often. Please join me. You’ll love it. Thanks. (Sorry, Neil. Couldn’t resist.)