Becoming Your Best | The Principles of Highly Successful Leaders


Episode 235 - The First Person You Must Lead is You!

Season 1, Ep. 235

Leadership is a journey and such a driving force in life! It is both tangible and intangible, and where it really makes a difference is in crisis. It makes a difference between a good and a great family, a good and a great community, or a good and a great company, because it takes a great deal of self-discipline to be a leader, to be on time, and to choose the harder right over the easier wrong. 

The perfect place to learn these values is in the army, and oftentimes, the people that have served in the US Military, in high positions, have become excellent leadership examples to follow.  

In today’s episode, Becky and I discuss the qualities and the values a highly successful leader must have, the reasons why everything starts with yourself, and the importance of knowing when to step up and admitting when it’s time to step down. We also dive deep into her experience in the Military and how it was for her, not only to be a woman in a men’s world, but also thrive in there and lead thousands of soldiers in combat. 

Becky Halstead is a retired Brigadier General who founded her own consultancy company - STEADFAST Leadership - after 27 years of service in the United States Army, and one year as the Executive Director for Leader Development with Praevius Group. 

She has been honored to be selected to attend West Point in 1977 - entering with the second class of women and being the first kid from her hometown to graduate from West Point. She's blessed to be the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to General Officer and she served and commanded in combat, as the first female Commanding General at the strategic level of leadership in Iraq - leading 20,000 soldiers, 5,000 civilians from 2005 to 2006 - a first for our Army and our Nation. 

Becky has also written the leadership book, “The First Person You Must Lead Is You”, so listen to Episode 235 of Becoming Your Best, to learn some strategies she used in the military and how can those translate in the civilian world so that we can all become our best at leading teams.  

Questions I ask: 

  • Could you, please, tell us about your background, including any turning points that have had a significant impact on you? (03:00) 
  • What was it like to be the first woman graduate who became a general? (10:59) 
  • How did you deal with the setbacks you encountered in your journey? (12:45) 
  • How did your book come to be? (17:20) 
  • What is the value of both practical and tactical leadership, in being able to get results? (21:26) 

In this episode, you will learn:  

  • How Becky’s high school coach influenced her decision to go to West Point. (05:19) 
  • The importance of not quitting when it gets tough. (07:35) 
  • How the death of Becky’s coach has helped her later in life, during her military career. (09:11) 
  • What the acronym STEADFAST stands for and the reason Becky decided to make it her leadership model. (19:26) 
  • One of the most important qualities a leader should possess. (22:36) 
  • The difference between practical and tactical leadership. (23:45) 

Connect with Becky:  

Becoming Your Best Resources: 

More Episodes


Episode 275 - Winning with Discipline, Confidence, Mental Toughness, and Self Initiative

Season 1, Ep. 275
To get where we want to beanddoing what we love to do, most of us try to figure out what we need to do to reach our goal, and it makes sense; it seems fair to assume that there must be an action plan to follow. The truth is instead of asking ourselves what we need to do, we should ask ourselves who do we need to be, then become that individual. After we achieve that, the actions that will take us to the place we want will flow naturally. Joiningustoday is Dre Baldwin, a former Professional Basketball Player, Author of 27 books, YouTube Content Creator, Podcaster, TEDxSpeaker, and Owner of Work On Your Game Inc. He is the living proof that a solid mental framework can take anyone anywhere. That discipline, confidence, mental toughness, and personal initiative can turn any person into the best version of themselves, regardless of their age, the moment in their lives, or social condition.In this episode, Dre kindly shared his fantastic story of how he became a professional basketball player and a pioneer in content creation on YouTube at the same time. Always creating his own opportunities, Dre developed a system to help athletes reach their maximum potential and soon discovered that his system's four principles applied to any aspect of life, not only to sports. If you want to learn more about where confidence, determination, and a bulletproof mindset can take you, tune in to Episode 275 of Becoming Your Best, and listen to Dre Baldwin's inspiring story.Some Questions I Ask:Where did you grow up? And how did you end up to where you are now? (2:12)You've talked a little about the WorkOnYourGame system; how can an everyday person use it? (8:28)How does discipline create confidence? (14:38)What is one of the toughest challenges you've had in life? (17:55)What's the most valuable thing people get from you? (22:41)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Handling resumes in an exposure camp (4:31)Elite athletes' mental tools applied to the business world (6:24)WorkOnYour Game's four principles (8:35)Systems help discipline and replace will power (12:37)No one can give us initiative; we must take it (20:24)Resources:Dre Baldwin websiteDre All Day PodcastConnect with Dre:LinkedInInstagramTwitterFacebookBecoming Your Best Resources:Becoming Your Best WebsiteBecoming Your Best University WebsiteBecoming Your Best LibraryEmail: Book: Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful LeadersBook: Conquer Anxiety: How to Overcome Anxiety and Optimize Your PerformanceFacebook Group – Conquer Anxiety

Episode 274 - Amazon Rising: Power and Seduction in the Age of Amazon

Season 1, Ep. 274
It is hard to find a company more customer-centricthan Amazon, not only in America but globally. The company's "obsession" with client satisfaction drives its constant innovation, offering great deals and benefits for its Prime members, relentless price competition policy, efficiency, and sometimes threatening behavior. They see no boundaries, from healthcare to satellites; Amazon is constantly expanding, growing, and competing for a share of the marketitlaysitseyes on. Today, I'm joined byDr.RobinGaster, Visiting Scholar at George Washington University Institute for Public Policy, President atIncumetrics, and author of the bookBehemoth, Amazon Rising. Robin grew up in England; he got hisBachelor's Degreein Politics, Economics, and Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He earned aMaster'sdegree in Philosophy at the University of Kent. Robin moved to America and got his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, in Berkeley. In this episode, we talk about Robin's latest book's main subject, Amazon. He believes that Amazon is losing billions in internet retail, and he kindly walks us through how he got to that conclusion. We also talked about Amazon's most vital attributes and the bold yet brilliant idea of the Marketplace creation. Robin explained why Amazon is the world's most innovative company, its effects on customers and workers, and the business opportunities that mentality creates. Finally, Robin shared his prediction of what we can expect from the company in the next 5 to 10 years. If you want to learn more about the company thathas the most extraordinary business story of our time, tune in to Episode 274 of Becoming Your Best.Some Questions I Ask:Could you share any turning points in your life that had a significant impact on you and how did you end up where you are today? (2:57)Why is Amazon losing money in internet retail? (5:10)WhatareAmazon's five defensive moats? And how do they make Amazon unbeatable? (14:47)Why is Amazon the world's most innovative big company? (24:22)What can we expect from Amazon in the next 10 yearsand beyond? (28:27)In This Episode, You Will Learn:How Amazon lost $40 billion in retail operations (5:19)Why Amazon divides revenues into five different segments (10:12)Five keys to Amazon's success (15:12)Amazon doesn't need to profit but to grow (24:21)How Amazon encourages innovation (26:19)Resources:Incumetrics websiteBook: RobinGaster- Behemoth, Amazon Rising: Power and Seduction in the Age of AmazonConnect with Robin:LinkedInBecoming Your Best Resources:Becoming Your Best WebsiteBecoming Your Best University WebsiteBecoming Your Best LibraryEmail: Book: Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful LeadersBook: Conquer Anxiety: How to Overcome Anxiety and Optimize Your PerformanceFacebook Group – Conquer Anxiety

Episode 273 - Science and the Leader-Follower Relationship

Season 1, Ep. 273
While leaders have to be held accountable for their relationship with the people underneath them, both leaders and followers are responsible for the quality of the relationship they develop. Leaders' goal should be to build a solid relationship with the staff members, where there is space to offer feedback without fear of being reprimanded. As long as the employee is not the destructive kind, if they are treated fairly, well remunerated, and not verbally abused by the manager, they'll respond in the best of ways. Productivity and happiness will increase, stress and bad experiences will go down, and the work environment will be healthier.Joiningustoday is the brilliant Sherri Malouf, Chair and Principal at Situation Management Systems Inc, Ph.D. in Human Development, and author. She also has aBachelor's Degreein Economics and Law from the University of Plymouth and a Master's in Philosophy from the University of Bath. At SMS Inc, they teach to successfully handle lateral, upward, and downward influence situations without getting positional power involved. Their focus is on helping people be authentic and successful when working with others.Sherri kindly shares her knowledge and expertise on building stronger and healthier relationships between leaders and followers.She explainshow good relationships between managers and employees translate into engagement, productivity, and satisfaction growth. We also talk about her theory on how idealized images of leaders and followers in our minds will lead us to make automatic, unconscious decisions about who's worthy of our time and who’s not. If you want to better understand the leader-follower dynamics and how to enhance your experiences at the workplace, tune in to Episode 273 of Becoming Your Best and listen to Sherri's beautiful insights. Some Questions Asked:You have a new book coming out about the science behind the leader-follower relationship. Can you tell us a little about the book? (5:19)How do you help somebody that is misusing their power in an organization? (9:52) What actions should the followers take to strengthen their relationship with their boss? (15:02)How do you help people get in this frame of mind? To create a positive plan, get things on track, and rather than blame to take control of the things they can control? (17:56)What is the science behind the leader-follower relationships? (22:57)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Some of the turning points that led to Sherri's realization: there are always ways to grow and evolve (2:54)People don't leave their jobs; they leave managers (6:59)Leaders have to be held accountable for the relationship with people underneath them (10:08)The secret to a strong, healthy leader-follower relationship (13:56)Who's responsible for having an excellent manager-employee relationship (16:22)Every person requires something different from their leaders (22:29)Resources:Situation Management Systems Inc websiteSituation Management Systems Inc TwitterBook: Sherri Malouf, Wally Bock - Science and the Leader-Follower Relationship: The Implicit Social ElementsConnect with Sherri:LinkedInTwitterFacebookBecoming Your Best Resources:Becoming Your Best WebsiteBecoming Your Best University WebsiteBecoming Your Best LibraryEmail: Book: Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful LeadersBook: Conquer Anxiety: How to Overcome Anxiety and Optimize Your PerformanceFacebook Group – Conquer Anxiety