BE – The First Word in Leadership

The first thing I want to do today is thank the Lord for the protection of my daughters. They were driving Saturday and hit a patch of ice and began sliding with no control of the car. They stopped one foot from a traffic sign that was just a couple of feet from a steep drop-off of about 20 feet or more. So glad they are safe!

The most important aspect of leadership is not what you know, not your skill set, or who you know. The most important aspect of leadership is WHO you are. In the Army’s leadership model, it is the BE of , BE-KNOW-DO.

In the book, BE-KNOW-DO, Leadership the Army Way, the author quotes General of the Army George C. Marshall speaking to officer candidates on the eve of World War II. “When you are commanding, leading [soldiers] under conditions where physical exhaustion and privations must be ignored, where the lives of [soldiers] may be sacrificed, then the efficiency of your leadership will depend only to a minor degree on your tactical ability. It will primarily be determined by your character, your reputation, not so much for courage – which will be accepted as a matter of course – but by the previous reputation you have established for fairness, for that high-minded patriotic purpose, that  quality of unswerving determination to carry through any military task assigned to you.”

We often read books, go to seminars, and attend training classes to become better leaders, when what we really need to focus on is what it means to BE a leader. To focus on the development of our character, to grow as a person. As has been often said, leadership is not a vocation, it is a way of life.

How are you intentionally growing in the BE aspect of leadership?

Have a great week!

3 thoughts on “BE – The First Word in Leadership

  1. Do a WordPress tag search of BE-KNOW-DO, and you’ll see that this is the topic of the month by a few of us. Thank you for bringing this book forward for your follower’s awareness. It is a remarkable book that, although it is based on Army Leadership, has universal applications to any leadership organization. To be a leader of character who knows what must be done, how to accomplish the task or mission, and then move forward to do it.


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