The Courage To Lead


In a world full of leaders who put their egos first, and crave power and the spotlight, here is a story about a leader who did exactly the opposite in the autocratic arena of policing.This is a story about Allan Sicard, a leader who empowered others to lead.

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Hi Allan. Finished your book and enjoyed it very much. So many parallels I could draw from. You should be very proud of your career! Wow.

I especially enjoyed your humility and candour. We learn from our mistakes. More than anything I enjoyed the compassion that comes through your stories. Compassion and leadership can go together despite traditional authoritarian styles. Great message.

The bit that most made me reflect was towards the end when you zeroed in on empowering others. As we discussed in the podcast, I was once told that I built dependency more than capability. It has stuck with me and I work hard on it. I can see you confronting that in your stories and building the trust that comes with empowering others. You also kept leaning forward into uncertainty.

Well done Alan. You have added to police leadership literature in an enjoyable, digestible, constructive and meaningful way.

Thanks for taking the time to write your memoirs.

Andrew Colvin
Former Commissioner of Police
Australian Federal Police

I finished your book in a day! The first book I have read in 2 years (due to my PTSD)
It was such an easy and interesting read and it did not ‘trigger’ me at all. I commend you on writing honestly about your challenges in NSWPF. Not many leaders I know can do what you did…reflect, learn, pick yourself up and grow (actually flourish) into the leader that you became.
Your leadership course (which I believe was not an official NSWPF course) should mandatory for all commissioned officers. Your passion for leadership definitely flowed through your book. I’m sure your book will inspire many people to become great leaders.
Liss Parker
Former S/Sgt Legal Consultant Domestic & Family Violence Team 33 years service

As I thought, I could not put it down read from cover to cover… its the pure sense of honesty that is so refreshing – you tell it as it was- no frills. The wide coverage of many aspects of policing including mental health, the failing forward concept, that winds golden threads through the book that provides the level of connection with the reality of both the frontline of policing and the challenges of leading.
There are two themes in the book that I would anticipate have substantial value as reading for early career officers (including recruits/probationary officers) in understanding that leadership is not all about being at the head of the line or in a specific position – the discussion of the work life balance and the importance of sharing with family/partners to maintain healthy mental outlook and the building of supportive organisational relationships.

What an excellent piece of work, I shall certainly be advocating for this book, and have already referenced it in an article for the Singapore Academy journal.

Amanda Davies
Senior Lecturer
Charles Sturt University

Just finished this inspiring and entertaining read. Well done sir!

It’s a great read for anyone that has leadership aspirations and for those already in charge, exposure to the insights from a boss facing enormous pressure and expectations.

Andrew Phelan
Managing Director
Project Plus

This book gives a wonderful insight into the real pressures that commanding police endure and shows that leading with compassion and intelligence as well as determination for a successful outcome will benefit everyone.

Karen L

“Hi Allan.

Congrats on your book, its a good read and it flows well. It is suberb.

I particularly liked your chapters about your 1st Command and the Collar Bomb, definitely needed courage to lead.

It’s an incredible insight into Policing and the decisions that need to be made,often very quickly under enormous pressure.”

Jan Willet
Former Director Events
NSW Premier and Cabinet

“”An engrossing account of the challenges of policing – and of leadership.”

Richard Glover

Presenter & Host

Drive program on

702 ABC Sydney

Hello Allan

I just wanted you to know that I was promoted to Inspector (NSW Police Force) yesterday.

As someone who has had a big influence on my career I just wanted to say thank you.

I have read your book again since coming back from my holiday last year and I have no doubt it has helped in the promotion process.

Thanks again.


NSW Police Force

July 2024

What’s the Memoir about?

Allan Sicard was a NSW Police Officer for 40 years and Police Commander for the last 15 years of that career. During this time, he was renowned for creating a workplace where people did their best working together in some of the most challenging crises Australia has ever seen including the Mosman Collar Bomb in 2011 and the first two hours of the Lindt Café Siege in 2014.

This is a different book about leadership. Leadership where mistakes are made. Leadership where mistakes are learnt from.

Over a period, Allan Sicard developed a leadership style that created a workplace and a community where people do their best because they know they are trusted, included, supported, and cared for.
Email for bulk orders anywhere in the world and delivery will be arranged through the relevant Ingram Sparks location.

About the Author

Allan Sicard is a husband to Kerrie, father to Kirk and Madeleine, and grandfather to Liam, Sylvia, Noah and Luca. Since retiring he spends his time enjoying life with his family including all the joy that being a grandparent brings. He has also taken up beekeeping using the flow hive system and is reputed in unbiased reviews to have the best-tasting honey ever.

Allan is the producer of the podcast “The Courage to Lead Interview Series” where he interviews a suite of leaders who epitomise the skills and attributes to empower others to create supportive and inclusive workplaces, environments and communities.

Allan is the Executive Director of 3R Consulting, the three Rs representing Resilience, Relationships and Reputation. Allan is a speaker and a specialist in leadership, specifically in empowering others to lead to create supportive and inclusive workplaces, environments, and communities so that everyone can do their absolute best. Allan lives in Sydney. The Courage to Lead is his first book.

He has worked in the NSW Police Force for 40 years from 1980 to 2020, with the last 15 years of that career as a police commander.

Allan has successfully led several planned and unplanned major events in the Sydney Metropolitan Region. These events and incidents included the Mosman Collar Bomb in 2011 as a police commander, and the Lindt Cafe Siege in 2014 as a forward police commander during the first two hours.

Allan led, coordinated and facilitated a multi-agency response to homelessness, housing hundreds of people across central Sydney and the Northern Districts of Sydney between 2013 and 2020.

Academic Review (page 1)

Policing – A Journal of Policy and Practice, Volume 17, 2023

Academic Review (page 2)

Policing – A Journal of Policy and Practice, Volume 17, 2023