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Publisher's Summary

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
©2004 John Salka, Barret Neville (P)2021 Tantor

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What listeners say about First In, Last Out

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Good.

Solid principles of finding the root of problem,
seek advice of others, seek disagreement,
be respected not loved, clear comms,
accountability, giving people
freedom to make their own choices,
explaining the why.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it lacked that indescribable quality of getting me fired up about these principles. Low energy type of feeling. Overall solid and worth checking out.

1 person found this helpful

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A Book for Leaders & Officers

This book explains a non-BS approach to being a leader. This isn't a book to study from but a book you should read when you feel you want to impact your department. Take the to absorb everything the Chief says.

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Great read

Great book on leadership especially for new company Officers and anyone interested in becoming a leader in all aspects