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[Book Review] The Debrief Imperative

Authors James D. Murphy and William M. Duke collaborate on The Debrief Imperative: Fighter Pilots and the Secret Tool that is Transforming Businesses the World Over. Murphy is the Founder and CEO of Afterburner, Inc., which teaches the Flawless Execution® Model of continuous improvement, based on the U.S. Air Force’s debrief strategies. I heard fighter pilots from Afterburner, Inc. present at the very first Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress I ever attended, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book reminds me much of that presentation.

I do believe all leaders will benefit from reading this book. It is an easy read – completed in about two solid hours. The book focuses on how leaders can learn from U.S fighter pilots’ stealth debrief strategies to learn from their mistakes and make continuous improvements. Compelling stories, practical debrief tips, and unique fighter pilot leadership and safety strategies that can be transferred into the business world fill the pages.

The Afterburner, Inc. presentation four years ago changed my perspective of debrief meetings, and The Debrief Imperative solidified that perspective. I think this book is particularly helpful for nursing and other medical professionals that can relate to small mistakes resulting in massive and tragic errors. If you already debrief occasionally, The Debrief Imperative will reinvigorate your enthusiasm to debrief more frequently. If you are a manager or leader who does not routinely debrief, then you definitely need to read and apply The Debrief Imperative.

Leave a comment, and tell me why you’d like The Debrief Imperative, and I’ll send my book copy to the most compelling comment.


Full disclosure: I received this book free of charge. My opinions above are my own. Neither the publisher nor the authors influenced my views in any way.

3 thoughts on “[Book Review] The Debrief Imperative

  1. I remember you sharing with our team some of the gold nuggets you picked up from that presentation. They made an impression, and I still have the handout!
    -Lose sight; lose fight
    -Task saturation
    -“Sugar calls”

    1. Hey, hey! You’re such a good note taker (and keeper!).

  2. This debriefing concept I have used since mid 1970’s when I had the good fortune to sit on on several planning sessions with the Blue Angels as they prepared for an Airshow that I co-chaired. Their planning and precision was so impactful that I have used it extensively in my business career.

    It was with that planning experience that I have conducted many business ventures including the current Business which is HomeTown Health, LLC , an organiztaion dedicated to preserving rural hospitals including their doctors, nurses, and all support staff within.

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