Shane's recommended reading for the fire service

The list of books is in no particular order of importance to me. It’s just what came to me while I was reflecting about my reading list…


Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

This one came from a recommendation from Bill. I actually liked this book even though the author did aggravate me from time to time, but overall it was a great read about an amazing feat that simply went wrong. So many times in our profession things go wrong. Were they partly our doings? Did we miss a piece of the puzzle? Or do sometimes things just simply “go wrong”? There are a lot of things that went wrong on this journey and its an eye opener on who owns what.


Fearless by Eric Blehm

Never quit…sometimes it simply boils down to that. This is a great read, but its a roller coaster. At times I was amazed and pumped. Then I would be down in the dumps saying to myself, “don’t do it!” (speaking to the main character). Then I would be in near tears. All the while, the message is just don’t quit.


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed 

Just a great book on restarting…sometimes you need to put things into perspective.


Lincoln on Leadership for Today by Donald T. Phillips 

I really enjoyed this book, and I’ve always been intrigued with Lincoln. I use one of his tactics on communication (or lack of communication!) frequently. Often I will put my initial thoughts on a particular subject down on paper (I may not be in the best mood at the time) and then simply walk away. I eventually come back to them and decide to not send the correspondence. I think it’s very therapeutic and ultimately keeps me from something I regret.


Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer

I read this book off of a recommendation from a fellow colleague and later attending a training seminar that was based on the core foundation of the book. Overall it was a great book and the class was eye opening as well. 

For me this book spoke mainly to two items. First one being able to and willing to understand when a conversation is becoming “tricky” (my words) and second, be careful not to assume what the narrative or message is. Be careful feeling in the blanks with your own thoughts and perspectives…


Leadership 101 by John Maxwell

This was my first real leadership book. I read it just before we were taking the driver’s test in 1999.  It was an eye opener to say the least.  For me, Maxwell started to lay down the foundation of what leadership was and how each of us fit into it.  It is a basic foundational understanding of leadership.


Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

This book spoke to me in terms of being a good officer, especially a fire ground officer.  This is our “battle field” and it is important to lead there by example, with confidence and composure. 


The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Wow is all I can say about this one…this one book completely changed how I viewed teambuilding and MY responsibility for the team building aspect.  I constantly push these concepts down to our station captains and battalion chiefs. 


The Shack by William P. Young

This book spoke to me in many different ways but most importantly it reminded me not to be too quick to judge an individual.  Each one of us is walking a path that is full of stuff to deal with…don’t get caught up in yours being the most important.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Just read it.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This book reminds me to this day to be consciously aware of tolerance for every individual.  This is grace, and it is a great lesson in leadership. Everyone must know you care about them personally but without “walking a mile in their shoes” how can you?? It was a fresh reminder about perspective.


A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

This is just a fun read that reminds me to find humor in the things around us and to get out and enjoy life a little!  It’s not all about work…


How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This is an old one but it is a great look at how to deal with and understand people.  You quickly learn what influence truly means and how this affects your day to day interactions with your co-workers.

And my fun list of authors and anything they have wrote are; John Grisham, Dean Koontz, Lee Child, David Baldacci, The Hunger Games series and The Maze Runner series.