Rudy Crew - What Guides a Leader

By Jeffrey Pfeffer
Case No. OB56V-05
Rudy Crew, former chancellor of New York public schools and current Miami-Dade County school superintendent, speaks about his path to power, what drives him, and his views of leadership. He discusses his choice to be the voice for urban schooling and his belief that a leader is guided by his or her own internal compass. One has to be in the decision maker’s position or very close to it to make an impact—voicing an opinion from the side is simply not effective. Crew held powerful positions that required wide approval in both New York City and Miami. Transparency into his actions and responsibilities was vital for him to bring clarity to the issues and to form the strategic alliances required to implement changes. Crew describes the challenges and uncertainties he faced when launching the program to improve urban schooling in New York City and the importance of being a leader who believed that change was possible. He testifies that he set ambitious goals for himself and for his followers despite the uncertainties and was willing to learn and adjust his plans as situations evolved. icon-Video Preview This video can be used with the written article “The Stealth Chancellor,” New York Times Magazine, August 31, 1997 and is part of Jeffery Pfeffer’s Paths to Power series. Also see OB56V-04 Rudy Crew - Changing the Impossible.