First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department

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9781591840688: First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department
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What does it take to lead people into a burning building? How do the leaders of the New York City Fire Department develop so much loyalty, trust, and grace under pressure that their subordinates will risk their very lives for them? 

As a high-ranking officer of the FDNY, John Salka is an expert at both practicing and teaching high-stakes leadership. In First In, Last Out, he explains the department’s unique strategies and how they can be adopted by leaders in any field—as
he has taught them to organizations around the country. In a tough-talking, no-nonsense style, Salka uses real-world stories to convey leadership imperatives such as: first in, last out—your people need to see you taking the biggest risk, as the first one to

  • enter the danger zone and the last to leave

  • manage change—the fire you fought yesterday is not the one you’ll be fighting tomorrow

  • communicate aggressively—a working radio is worth more than 20,000 gallons of water

  • create an execution culture—focus your people on the flames, not the smoke

  • commit to reality—never allow the way you would like things to be to color how things are

  • develop your people—let them feel a little heat today or they’ll get burned tomorrow

Illustrated by harrowing real-life situations, the principles in First In, Last Out will help managers become more confident, coherent, and commanding.

On the web: http://www.firstinleadership.com

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Review:

After twenty five years in the most dangerous of all occupations, John Salka, Battalion Chief of The New York City Fire Department, offers tough and tender lessons in leadership. Salka masterfully leverages examples from fire fighting--"where lack of leadership can kill people"--to create values for leaders in every organization. He alternates vivid summaries of historic and terrifying fires (the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist factory, the 1993 World Trade Center explosion and ground zero) with metaphors from the firehouse to describe three commitments for decisive leadership. "Follow the smoke," is an imperative to uncover reality in yourself, your organization and your industry. Next, Salka counsels, "know their names before you send them into the flames," and encourages leaders to identify the contributions of each employee. The maxim, "Find your top whip" conveys ideas for developing future leaders and making a job into a classroom.

Other standout chapters focus on the nuances of building trust, clear decision-making and execution and tools for aligning individual and organization goals. Those expecting a macho approach to high-stakes leadership will be pleasantly surprised. Salka embraces intuition as "your subconscious trying to offer up a life time of experiences" and he explains how "managing emotional triggers" are ways of gaining competitive advantage. Salka's inspiring and passionate vision of leadership is a combination of reality testing, self-knowledge, and a shared mission when the heat is on. --Barbara Mackoff

About the Author:

John Salka rose through the ranks of the New York City Fire Department from firefighter to lieutenant, captain, and now battalion chief (the second highest command), a position in which he manages more than 150 men. He also teachesleadership to other fire departments across the country and to outside organizations like the U.S. Marine Corps

Barret Neville is a business book editor.


Dennis Smith, a former New York City firefighter, is the founding editor of Firehouse Magazine and the bestselling author of eleven books, including Report from Ground Zero, Report from Engine Co. 82, and A Song for Mary. He is currently chairman of First Responders Financial Company.

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. What does it take to lead people into a burning building? How do the leaders of the New York City Fire Department develop so much loyalty, trust, and grace under pressure that their subordinates will risk their very lives for them? As a high-ranking officer of the FDNY, John Salka is an expert at both practicing and teaching high-stakes leadership. In First In, Last Out, he explains the department s unique strategies and how they can be adopted by leaders in any field--as he has taught them to organizations around the country. In a tough-talking, no-nonsense style, Salka uses real-world stories to convey leadership imperatives such as: first in, last out--your people need to see you taking the biggest risk, as the first one to enter the danger zone and the last to leave manage change--the fire you fought yesterday is not the one you ll be fighting tomorrow communicate aggressively--a working radio is worth more than 20,000 gallons of water create an execution culture--focus your people on the flames, not the smoke commit to reality--never allow the way you would like things to be to color how things are develop your people--let them feel a little heat today or they ll get burned tomorrow Illustrated by harrowing real-life situations, the principles in First In, Last Out will help managers become more confident, coherent, and commanding. On the web: //. Seller Inventory # AAS9781591840688

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. What does it take to lead people into a burning building? How do the leaders of the New York City Fire Department develop so much loyalty, trust, and grace under pressure that their subordinates will risk their very lives for them? As a high-ranking officer of the FDNY, John Salka is an expert at both practicing and teaching high-stakes leadership. In First In, Last Out, he explains the department s unique strategies and how they can be adopted by leaders in any field--as he has taught them to organizations around the country. In a tough-talking, no-nonsense style, Salka uses real-world stories to convey leadership imperatives such as: first in, last out--your people need to see you taking the biggest risk, as the first one to enter the danger zone and the last to leave manage change--the fire you fought yesterday is not the one you ll be fighting tomorrow communicate aggressively--a working radio is worth more than 20,000 gallons of water create an execution culture--focus your people on the flames, not the smoke commit to reality--never allow the way you would like things to be to color how things are develop your people--let them feel a little heat today or they ll get burned tomorrow Illustrated by harrowing real-life situations, the principles in First In, Last Out will help managers become more confident, coherent, and commanding. On the web: //. Seller Inventory # AAS9781591840688

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