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More research resources Managing Officer Program

This page contains examples of outstanding capstone projects, books on leadership and other research resources available from the NETC Library.


Five Alarm Leadership: From the Firehouse to the Fireground

Book cover: Five Alarm Leadership

Rick Lasky and John Salka are two of the most dynamic and inspirational leaders in the fire service. Their book, Five Alarm Leadership, is a compilation of leadership lessons learned, situations handled, decisions made, and problems solved during their combined 60-plus years of fire service experience.

Also included is a special introduction by Chief (ret.) Bobby Halton, Editor-in-Chief of Fire Engineering magazine, outlining the nature of transformational leadership and its power to inspire excellence in the fire service.

Ender’s Game

Book cover: Ender’s Game

A science fiction novel that provides in-depth examples and discussion of principles of transformational leadership and its use in high consequence environments. The novel builds around leadership characteristics in which leaders:

  • Possess a broad set of skills.
  • Are self-aware and able to self-manage.
  • Manage their relationships with others.
  • Are aware of social cues and bonds.
  • Are aware of management’s role.
  • Come from all layers of society and are able to rise to their level of expertise.

Extreme ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs lead and win

Book cover: Extreme ownership

Extreme Ownership is written by two former Navy SEALs, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, who now head a leadership training company. The experiences they share in this book are intense and eye-opening, not to mention unique. There aren’t many books out there that give such detailed glimpses into the lives of SEALs in action.

The book is structured in a very basic and clear way. The authors convey one main point per chapter by sharing a story from their battlefield experiences, then highlighting the main principle of that story, and finally giving a concrete example of how this principle applies in business settings.

Their main points can be summarized as follows:

  • The leader is always responsible. (This is what they call “extreme ownership.” Basically, leaders must always own the mistakes and shortcomings of their teams.)
  • Everyone on the team must believe in the mission.
  • Work with other teams to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Keep plans simple, clear and concise.
  • Check your ego.
  • Figure out your priorities, and then act on them one at a time.
  • Clarify your mission (i.e., your plan).
  • Engage with your higher-ups; keep them in the loop — especially when they frustrate you.
  • Act decisively, even when things are chaotic.

Required reading

Officer Development Handbook

IAFC Officer Development Handbook

Outstanding capstone projects