What can any business or financial leader learn from a twenty-year vet in the fire service? I’m calling John Cuomo the John Maxwell for firefighters and other public safety officials based on his book, Leadership Refined by Fire. John has always been interested in leadership and lifelong learning, and his book is full of stories, inspiration, and big ideas that can be applied to any playing field in the areas of lifelong learning, humility, and much more.
- Mark’s new name for John
- How a firefighter becomes interested in leadership
- Mark’s lofty point of view for all firefighters
- This book is a gameplan for applying leadership principles
- Reading is critical for leaders
- John, “We don’t have time to read.”
- The Anthony Joshua story on training
- On telling the truth
- Reference groups and positivity
- Chris Kyle and humility
- Mark’s favorite story – from 2.25% to 3.5%
- Pride in work when times are tough
- PTSD awareness
Mark’s Amazon 5-Star Review
My favorite business story in the Old Testament involves a board chairman watching his team duking it out with a much bigger competitor. When his arms are raised high, his team is winning. When his arms fatigue and fall to his lap, the bad guys are winning. Two people of great wisdom who are advisors to the Chairman of the Board pull up a Herman Miller chair and seat their leader. One holds up the right arm, the other the left. The good guys ultimately win.
The author of this book reminds me of the guy holding up that other leader’s left arm. No one knows him, but through his humility and desire to be helpful, there is a positive outcome.
Leadership Refined by Fire is a book of big ideas about lifelong learning, a central theme in this book. I particularly enjoyed the sections on reference groups and positivity. The Chris Kyle story on humility was outstanding. The Anthony Joshua story reminds us of our quest for continuous learning (training) even when we are at the top of our game.
John ends his book on the topic of mental health, and more specifically, PTSD. While this chapter is brief, I sense it’s complete for someone without knowledge of this stress disorder. Accordingly, this was one of my favorite chapters.
How does a firefighter become interested in leadership? “I wanted to learn how to lead a crew, especially in instances that were life-or-death situations for them or those we were called to help?”
Who should read this book? I sense the ideal audience is any firefighter, especially those new in their careers. Others working in public safety would gain from reading this book. I’m a business person, a consultant. The leadership lessons we learn in this book are for anyone.
Do you have a favorite line in the book? “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
What’s the best way to read this book? Obviously, this is opinion. I made the mistake of reading the book from cover to cover within one week. Looking back, I should have read just one chapter every other day. On the odd days, I’d read my notes from the chapter I completed the previous day. I did a lot of stopping to read outside references or watch videos John mentioned in the book. In short, active reading is required to get the most out of this book. I also think the experience expands if you read it with a book club.
- The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- In Order to Live
- The Gulag Archipelago
- Lords of Finance
- The Godfather
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