U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



FROM: Leadership in Dangerous Situations : A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services, and First Responders. Edited by Patrick J. Sweeney, Michael D. Matthews, and Paul B. Lester (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011).


US government work


The idea for Leadership in Dangerous Situations: A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services, and First Responders evolved from the editors' collective experiences and research in dangerous contexts and from Patrick J. Sweeneys experience directing a course in combat leadership at the United States Military Academy, West Point. We discovered that the leadership literature lacked a comprehensive guide outlining how and why leadership is different in dangerous contexts; how to prepare oneself and followers for the unique challenges of operating in such contexts and how to recover following exposure to adversity; how to lead when group members face danger; and how to leverage organizational systems to facilitate group members' resilience in the face of and after adversities associated with dangerous contexts. The intent of Leadership in Dangerous Situations is to fill the gap in the leadership literature by providing the brave men and women who risk their lives to serve the public a comprehensive and easily understandable guide, backed by research, to prepare themselves and their units for the unique psychological, social, and organizational challenges of leading and operating in dangerous contexts.