leadership – the Army way

September 30, 2013

I was thinking this morning about all that you read about leadership and I keep coming back to the way I was taught in the US Army. It is simply BE – KNOW – DO. Simple and powerful. So, I thought I would share this post with you once again.

Being a former Army officer, the Army holds a special place in my heart.  Additionally, they have been the premier leadership training organization in our country for the last couple of centuries.

The Army has a simple, but profound model for leadership:  Be – Know – Do.

By the way, the Leader to Leader Institute (Peter Drucker) has published a great book on this called BE-KNOW-DO, Leadership The Army Way.

The model is simply this:

BE – this is all about your character as a leader and is foundational to your ability to lead.  It gives you the courage to do what is right regardless of the circumstances or the consequences.  As part of BE, you should be aware of your personal core values as well as your organization’s values.  For the Army, their values are:

  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Respect
  • Selfless Service
  • Honor
  • Integrity
  • Personal Courage

KNOW – This is about the knowledge and skill sets you need to be competent as a leader and cover four areas:

  1. Interpersonal skills
  2. Conceptual skills
  3. Technical skills
  4. Tactical skills

Your mastery of the knowledge and skills required for your role are essential to the success of your organization.

DO – Leaders act. They bring together everything they are, everything they believe, and everything they know how to do to provide purpose, direction, and motivation.  This involves the following three leader actions:

  1. Influencing
  2. Operating
  3. Improving

For me, it’s a great model of leadership.  You can either order an actual copy of The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual or the book on the model, BE-KNOW-DO, Leadership The Army Way.

And something in addition:

The US Army Warrior Ethos

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

Have a great week and make a difference in someone’s life today.

BG