Several readers pointed out the obvious omission from my reading list for a new fire chief: James Q. Wilson’s Bureaucracy.
Mike O’Hare has some additional suggestions, only one of them a book:
Heifetz, R., Leadership Without Easy Answers Very important book; one of very few treatments that regards leadership as something that happens in a group rather than a search for characteristic traits of leaders.
Wagner, R., Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. This has some special virtues. First, it’s full of glorious music. Second, it presents at least six classic models of leadership: didaction, force, potlatch/sacrifice, trickery, formal authority, teaching/coaching, patriotism…it’s all in there. Third, it deals with a community institution (in this case a non-profit)–that is, an institution of the type that (with others) constitutes a community; much like a fire dept. Fourth, it includes a rather nasty and xenophobic speech at the end that forces us to engage with the piece critically instead of just accepting it as a sermon. I strongly recommend the Bayreuth version with Weikl and Jerusalem because Beckmesser is staged as a complicated character rather than a straw man object of ridicule.
Ibsen, H., An Enemy of the People
Bolt, R., A Man for All Seasons