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Leading With Honor: Leadership Lessons From The Hanoi Hilton by Lee Ellis

Fire Departments exist within the confines of the communities and governments they serve. In other words, we are charged to do whatever it takes to "save lives and protect property," but are saddled with constraints; many of which we have no say in. It's easy to get discouraged in a situation like that. You feel like you have no control.

For me, books like this one (and Endurance) reinforce the idea that it is possible to stay positive and ultimately prevail in the most dire of circumstances. Lee Ellis was shot down over Vietnam and spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war; much of that time in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He writes: "Authentic leaders know that life is difficult. They expect to get knocked down, and they have the proper attitude and outlook to persevere. You have a choice about how you will respond to difficulties. Confront the brutal realities of your situation, but never give up hope."

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