The Guardian’s Bookshelf contains a list of books that I found particularly useful in developing myself during my career progression.  I have read and highly recommend each of them. The list is divided into topic areas according to the three leader competency areas: LEAD, DEVELOP, ACHIEVE.

To see where you can obtain these resources, click on their title.



BE-KNOW-DO: Leadership the Army Way

Increasingly the business world is embracing military leadership as the gold standard.  The applicability to policing is even more evident.  This book by Gen Shinseki and Francis Hesselbein explains army leadership doctrine in a way that we can all find useful.

Hesselbein, F, & Shinseki., E. (2004). Be, know, do: leadership the army way : adapted from the official army leadership manual. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc Pub.



Credibility: How Leaders Gain It and Lose It

Without it, you’re done.

Kouzes., J, & Posner, B. (2003). Credibility: how leaders gain it and lose it, why people demand it. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc Pub.


In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended On It

Col Kolditz explains what it takes to serve as an effective leader of those who believe that their lives depend on the quality of your leadership.

Kolditz., T. (2007). In extremis leadership: leading as if your life depended on it. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc Pub.



America’s mayor discusses leadership and the experience of 9/11.

Giuliani, R, & Kurson, K. (2002). Leadership. New York, NY: Miramax.


Leadership Lessons from West Point

A collection of outstanding readings prepared by members of the faculty of the Behavioral Sciences Department at the USMA at West Point.

Crandall, D. (2006). Leadership lessons from west point. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc Pub.


Leading Change

Police organizations are constantly changing and cops, more than almost anyone I know, are suspicious of and resistant to change.  Kotter explains the way to successfully implement major change in an organization.

Kotter., J. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.


Leading Quietly: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing

How your everyday decisions and actions influence the ethical environment of your organization in a practical and pragmatic way.

Badaracco, J. (2002). Leading quietly: an unorthodox guide to doing the right thing. Harvard Business Press.



The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries

An outstanding translation and accompanying commentary.  Required reading for military leaders that should not be ignored by those who practice policing.

Tzu., S, & Cleary., T. (2003). The art of war: complete texts and commentaries. Boston, MA: Shambhala Pubns.

Critical Incident Management: An On-Scene Guide for Law Enforcement Supervisors

Learn and memorize the 7 critical tasks and increase your and your officers chances of survival.  Develop effectiveness and credibility when confronted with the worst situations.

Faggiano,V and Gillespie, T. (2004). Critical incident management. Tulsa, OK: K&M.


Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement: a Guide for Officers and Their Families

A psychologist and former officer, Gilmartin explains the hypervigilance cycle cops experience and the impact it has on their lives.

Gilmartin., K. (2002). Emotional survival for law enforcement: a guide for officers and their families. Tucson, AZ: ES Press.


Force Under Pressure: How Cops Live and Why They Die

Blum provides tips and techniques to assist decision making under stress, enhance the will to survive and make yourself psychologically impervious to defeat.

Blum, L, & N., L. (2000). Force under pressure: how cops live and why they die. New York, NY: Lantern.


On Combat

An outstanding examination of the psychological and physiological effects of combat.  This should definitely be required reading for today’s warrior.

Grossman, D, & W., L. (2008). On combat: the psychology and physiology of deadly conflict in war and in peace. Warrior Science Group Inc.


On Killing

Col Dave Grossman examines the psychological cost of taking another’s life, how to survive and continue to serve.  Read it before you need it.

Grossman, D. (1996). On killing. New York, NY: Back Bay Books.


The Path of the Warrior: An Ethical Guide to Personal and Professional Development

In addition to our responsibility to ensure that our officers go home safe at end of watch, we have a responsibility to help them avoid the ethical pitfalls that would rob them of retirement and dishonor our agencies. This book, written by a retired cop, examines contemporary police ethics in a highly thought provoking manner.

Jettmore, L. (1997). The path of the warrior: an ethical guide to personal and professional development in the field of criminal justice. Looseleaf Law Pubns Corp.


The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and In Life

Develop the mental toughness necessary to keep your locus of control on yourself and not give others or situations undeserved power to influence your attitude or actions.  Optimize your effectiveness when difficulties present themselves, and they always do.

Miller, J. (2001). Question behind the question. New York, NY: Putnam.


Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Covey teaches skills for success in both your personal and professional life.

Covey, S. (2004). Seven habits of highly effective people. New York, NY: Free Pr.


Sound Doctrine: A Tactical Primer

Moving beyond the initial response, this book examines underlying principles to effectively navigate tactical situations.  A must-read for those responsible for leading in violent conflict.

Heal, C, & Heal, S. (2000). Sound doctrine: a tactical primer.


Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion

Communication is the leader’s medium of influence and we are all leaders.  Everything we do hinges on effective communication and this book teaches critical skills to make us safer and more effective in our every day lives.

Thompson., G, & Jenkins., J. (2004). Verbal judo: the gentle art of persuasion. Harper Paperbacks.



The Compstat Paradigm: Management Accountability in Policing, Business and the Public Sector

An excellent examination of the implementation of compstat – a model widely adopted in the police world.

E., V. (2002). The compstat paradigm: management accountability in policing, business and the public sector. Looseleaf Law Pubns Corp.


The Crime Fighter: How You Can Make Your Community Crime Free

One of Bratton’s acolytes discusses development of practical strategy with a number of war stories thrown in.  Expand your paradigm with an entertaining read from one who walked their talk. (although NY hardly became crime free)

Maple, J, & Mitchell, C. (2000). The crime fighter: how you can make your community crime free. Broadway.


Execution: the Discipline of Getting Things Done

Organizations seldom have trouble in identifying a strategy they want to pursue, yet the strategy is seldom executed.  It takes strategy to implement strategy.  Learn the skills to get’r done.

Bossidy, L, Charan, R, & Burck, C. (2002). Execution: the discipline of getting things done. New York, NY: Crown Pub.


Exploring Crime Analysis: Readings on Essential Skills

Increasingly we rely on data and the advice of analysts in developing our response to crime.  While certainly technical, this book provides a great basis for understanding the what and why of our analysts advising us the way that they do.  Gain confidence in your analysts and the data they produce to increase your organization’s effectiveness.

Association, I. (2004). Exploring crime analysis: readings on essential skills. Booksurge Llc.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity

Hands down, the best time management strategy for dealing effectively with the demands of today’s electronic communication age.

Allen, D. (2001). Getting things done: the art of stress-free productivity. Viking Pr.


Intelligence Led Policing

A recovering police officer, Temple University’s Dr Ratcliffe is one of the most brilliant strategic minds in the field.  Read this book and consider the implications of Dr. Ratcliffe’s crime funnel and you will change your view of true effectiveness and accomplishing your mission.

Ratcliffe, J. (2008). Intelligence-led policing. Willan Pub.


Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic

Bill Bratton’s story of his success as Chief of the NYPD.

Bratton, W, & Knobler, P. (1998). Turnaround: how america. New York, NY: Random House Inc.


What Every Chief Executive Should Know

Named a LE Book of the Year – Shane does an outstanding job of presenting the importance of data and performance management.  While the principles are excellent, the reader should carefully consider the wisdom of measuring outputs as opposed to outcomes.

Shane., J. (2007). What every chief executive should know: using data to measure police performance. Flushing, NY: Looseleaf Law Pubns Corp.