First In, Last Out by John Salka
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.

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About John Salka

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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 teaches leadership 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.
Published February 22, 2005 by Portfolio. 252 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Salka, an FDNY battalion chief in the Bronx, has spent 25 years with the department, rising from firefighter to his current rank.

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