Extreme Leadership
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Extreme Leadership

Leaders, Teams and Situations Outside the Norm

Edited by Cristina M. Giannantonio and Amy E. Hurley-Hanson

Much has been written about how leaders and teams function in traditional business settings, but there is comparatively scant literature on the behaviors of leaders and teams facing extreme situations: that is, situations that fall outside the scope of daily experience. This book presents cases drawn from a diverse set of non-traditional and extreme leadership scenarios, offering a fresh perspective on both leadership research and management practice.
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Chapter 12: Where pure leadership is revealed: our police in harm's way

Leaders, Teams and Situations Outside the Norm

Mark D. Bowman and George B. Graen


As the Personal Security Officer to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen in Iraq and Afghanistan and 28 years in state and federal law enforcement, I have seen up close and personal what having proper training and leadership means under the most stressful and perilous scenarios. Never in our history has the battle space of not only the soldier, but also the first responders at home, been so dangerous as it is today. Dr Graen has recognized the greatest asset we can offer to our heros [sic] at home and abroad is the proper advanced training, equipment, and technology to be prepared to face the challenges presented by the post 9/11 world.Mark A. Howell (2012)Organizations are designed for stability and possess established defenses against disruptive changes in their environment. However, disruption happens often without warning. Adaptation to such events is handled by a damage control team rather than an executive leadership team. Change in and of organizations is contrary to its design and purpose and will be resisted. Change too often is poorly managed and results in damage to or even demise of an organization. In this chapter, examples of creating gradual change in our police practices in harm’s way is presented and analyzed, searching for an understanding of the process. First, the improvements suggested by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and by management of team leadership in extreme contexts (Graen and Graen, 2013) protecting our first responders are reviewed.

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