Creating, Sharing, and Living A Leadership Philosophy

By Brigadier General (Retired) Becky Halstead and Brigadier General (Retired) Maureen LeBoeuf, Ed.D., Monday, March 01, 2021
The Power of the “Be”

Just as a diamond requires three properties to form—carbon, heat, and pressure—leaders require the interaction of three properties—character, knowledge and application. The U.S. Army leadership framework of “Be, Know, Do” is the foundation behind one of the most powerful tools a leader can deploy—the leadership philosophy. The Army’s Leadership Framework describes “Be” as character; “Know” as the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities (expertise); and “Do” as applying leadership by influencing, operating, and improving. To “Be” a leader, you must understand and communicate who you are and what you expect, to best influence positive momentum in others.

A leadership philosophy is the key tool for leaders to share their core identity with the people they lead and with whom they work. It is their written “handshake” with the organization—a way for leaders to share with people what is expected of them and what the team members, in turn, can expect from the leader. Leaders have benefited from taking the time to develop and update this tool as part of their leadership journey. The resulting transparency impacts organizational culture. By living and leading with a leadership philosophy, leaders can better inspire others around them and set the conditions for the success of individuals, teams, and the organization.

Allen Wyatt, Plant Manager at National Gypsum, worked with BG LeBoeuf as part of a corporate leadership program in which a core deliverable was creating a leadership philosophy. He reflects that the knowledge gained about leadership philosophies was a life-changing event in my leadership career and development. It taught me how to lead people and manage change. I used the leadership philosophy to collect my thoughts, define the current situation in my facility, and develop a list of personal leadership values that would benefit the company the most. This philosophy was used to set my standards and expectations as a leader. It served as a foundation that defined our work culture, held me accountable as a leader, and ultimately helped our facility to earn multiple achievement awards.”

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"Battle Buddies" BG Halstead (left) and BG LeBoeuf (right) keep one another committed to their individual leadership philosophy and behaviors.

Brigadier General Maureen LeBoeuf, Ed.D.

ExpertiseLeadership development, wellness, keynote speaker, executive coach ExperienceMaureen spent 28 years in the U.S. Army, where she held various staff and leadership positions, as well as flying UH-1 helicopters in the continental United States and Europe. Most noteworthy was her assignment as the Professor and Head of the Department of... Read More +

Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead

ExpertiseStrategic level leadership, risk management, diversity and inclusion, coaching and mentoring ExperienceBecky is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy and achieved an historic milestone as the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer. She was the senior Commanding General (equivalent to CEO)... Read More +

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"The first step in developing your leadership philosophy is to determine your values—it needs to be authentic and reflect who you really are."
Brigadier General Maureen LeBoeuf, Ed.D.
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"The first step in developing your leadership philosophy is to determine your values—it needs to be authentic and reflect who you really are."
Creating, Sharing, and Living A Leadership Philosophy

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