Mayor Bloomberg Says Bluntness Helped Make Him Rich

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the radio.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the radio.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is adding more secret sauce to his recipe for success.

Mr. Bloomberg this morning credited his bluntness and willingness to speak his mind for making him one of the richest men in the world.

“I’ve always said to my kids, ‘You have to like what you see in the mirror and you shouldn’t worry about what other people say,” said Mr. Bloomberg, returning to a favorite topic during an appearance this morning on his weekly WOR radio show with John Gambling.

“Yes, you have to be nice and polite and there’s a common sense and a sensitivity. You don’t insult people and that sort of thing. But you’ve gotta do what you think is right … And in the end, I’ve always believed that is a formula for success,” he continued. “People say, ‘Oh, you know, you’re wealthy now, you have the luxury of saying things that you want to say.’ Um, how do you think I got wealthy? I really believe that.”

Mr. Bloomberg has broached the topic of his success many times over the years, crediting a long list of factors, including–most creatively–limiting bathroom breaks. (“You gotta be there. I mean, everybody says, ‘Oh, that’s crazy!’ But if you want to succeed … you can’t control how lucky you are, you can’t control how smart you are, but you can control how hard you work,” he recently said.)

Today, he went on to argue that the same quality–which has also gotten him into trouble–is what has made the Bushes such a successful political family.

“I always thought that George W. Bush got elected and re-elected because people thought he was genuine, not necessarily people agreed with him on a lot of things,” explained the mayor. “The Bushes are very honest and direct and say what they think they believe. Some people make fun of it, but you know people that are direct have my admiration.”

The topic came up as Mr. Bloomberg discussed Mr. Gambling’s decision to retire at the end of the year, ending a decades-long career that includes appearing on air together an estimated 500 times.

“It’s a great opportunity to really talk to somebody–you and the listeners–who understand the city and don’t get tied up in what’s politically correct or what sells,” Mr. Bloomberg reflected, complimenting his co-host. “You say what you believe. That’s always been your great strength. That’s why your audience loves you, I’ve always thought.”