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Leaders are readers! And, remember, everybody can be considered a leader in their volunteer firehouse. True leadership does not come with any collar insignia, and you can lead others regardless of rank, title or tenure. Even if you don't consider yourself a leader, or have no desire to be in the leadership category, you can still better yourself as a professional volunteer firefighter, member of your department and also in your role in life itself, by taking the time to read and educate yourself. Listed here are just a few of the many books available to you that will definitely help you in your life’s journey. And, if that journey has you taking a leadership position, they will help you achieve much success and lead a highly motivated and inspired team.

These books have all helped me in one way or another. This is just a small sampling and I will be updating as I continue to read even more. They are in no particular order and are authored by firefighters, military personnel, politicians, ordinary citizens and business people. A broad spectrum of people who have many important lessons to pass on.

Remember the insightful words spoken by General James Mattis (retired): “If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you.”

Read on!

The lessons to be passed on are priceless.

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Five Alarm Leadership: By Rick Lasky & John Salka

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Step Up Your Teamwork: By Frank Viscuso

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The Mission, The Men and Me: By Peter Blaber

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First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons From the New York Fire Department: By John Salka

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No Exceptions Leadership: By Jason Hoevelmann

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Extreme Ownership: By Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

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Step Up & Lead: By Frank Viscuso

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Pride and Ownership: A Firefighter’s Love of the Job: By Rick Lasky


The Dichotomy of Leadership: By Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

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Leadership Strategies and Tactics: By Jocko Willink

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The Powell Principles: 24 Lessons From Colin Powell: By Colin Powell

Leaders: Myth and Reality: By Stanley McChrystal

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The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs: By John Maxwell

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Hal Moore  on Leadership: Winning When Outgunned and Outmanned: By Harold G. Moore

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It’s Your Ship: By D. Michael Abrashoff

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How to Win Friends and Influence People: By Dale Carnegie

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It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership: By Colin Powell

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Turn the Ship Around; By L. David Marquet

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Leaders Eat Last: By Simon Sinek

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People: By Stephen Covey

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George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation


What I've Learned so Far...Leading and Managing Volunteers: By John Buckman III

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The Heart of a Leader: By Ken Blanchard

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