Pick Up Your Own Brass


Pick Up Your Own Brass

Leadership the FBI Way

Kathleen Mcchesney and William Gavin
Foreword by Tom Peters


192 pages


May 2011


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2011


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In FBI terms, leaders who pick up their own brass casings at the firing range are more effective than those who expect someone else to do it for them. To those at the bureau, this small action speaks louder than words and is largely indicative of a person’s overall management style. Through a host of real-life FBI stories, from the streets to the corner offices, Pick Up Your Own Brass: Leadership the FBI Way reveals the leadership qualities that have enabled the bureau to successfully navigate through a century of war, espionage, organized crime, terrorism, fraud, and corruption. Offering fifty essential leadership lessons based on challenges that FBI officials have faced over the course of their careers, this book can help anyone—established leaders, aspiring leaders, minority leaders, and even “accidental executives” who find themselves managing more than they imagined—build a culture of leadership.

Author Bio

Kathleen McChesney is the only female special agent to be named the Bureau’s executive assistant director. After a thirty-year career in law enforcement, she held leadership positions at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Walt Disney Company, and since 2007 she has consulted with businesses and non-profit organizations. She lives in Los Angeles.


“Kathleen McChesney and Bill Gavin, both hugely credentialed FBI senior managers, detail how a diverse, unwieldy, bureaucratic, and public-spotlighted agency pulled and pushed itself to regain its place as the preeminent law enforcement agency in the world. This is a lesson plan for business and even for families. It’s an indispensable how-to for corporate success.”—Frank Keating, former governor of Oklahoma and former FBI special agent

"Whether you’re an aspiring leader, a mid-level manager, or a senior executive, Pick Up Your Own Brass is for you. Each chapter is a stand-alone lesson drawn from a quick, compelling, and clear story of real FBI leaders, warts and all, facing tough problems. As a whole, the authors describe the essence of great leadership in action.”—Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik, USA (Ret.), former commanding general, Multi-National Security Transition Command and NATO Training Mission, Iraq

“This book is an excellent resource for academics and practitioners in a variety of disciplines. It is an especially important part of the literature on law enforcement, providing compelling examples of leadership at all levels of an organization. Students will benefit by reading about the principles of leadership and how to apply those principles to real-life situations. This is essential reading for everyone aspiring to a career in the criminal justice disciplines.”—Karen Terry, professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

“People matter! I know personally that the authors embrace and promote this belief in their daily commitments. They have now effectively transcribed principles of life and leadership that should be the beacon for all of us.”—Terry G. Hillard, cofounder and partner, Hillard Heintze, and retired superintendent, Chicago Police Department

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