The First Person You Must Lead is YOU

The real-life experiences portrayed in 24/7: The First Person You Must Lead is YOU are told with a combination of introspective humor and heart-wrenching candor that will inspire you to consider your approach to leadership from a new perspective-you. The stories author Becky Halstead, retired Brigadier General, United States Army, shares in this book illustrate leadership principles that transcend age, gender, race, and profession. Her personal leadership journey will capture your attention and cause you to re-evaluate how you define leadership – whether you are a corporate CEO or a high school student.

The book presents the author’s five fundamental leadership truths, followed by her key leadership principles, which ultimately lead you to her inspirational definition of leadership. The principles and supporting personal stories cover a lifetime of leadership lessons: from playing sports in high school to taking responsibility for over twenty thousand soldiers and civilians in combat as a general officer in Iraq. Becky has built highly successful teams in demanding environments and stressful situations. In 24/7 she shares with you the heart and mind traits and skills that allowed her to do so.

The book also provides multi-leadership perspectives: the author as a leader, the one being led, a peer leader, and as an individual who becomes part of an enduring leadership legacy. She explains how to learn from both toxic and ideal work environments and bosses. This book is a much needed guide that reminds you what is really important when you are in a position of leadership.

Becky has effectively translated lessons learned as a child growing up in small town USA, as a member of the second class of women to attend the United States Military Academy, and as the first female general to command at the strategic level, to a practical guide for use in the civilian world.
In recent years, women in the military — especially in combat — have been the center of controversial discussions and congressional policy. While not her intent, these stories also educate those of you unfamiliar with the role of women in the military, providing a new understanding of the greater effectiveness of a military that includes them.

Her stories are humorous, sad, celebratory, intense, and consistently relevant. Because they range over a life-time-from being a junior level leader responsible for a small team to being a senior level leader with a complex mission and a widely diverse team-the stories provide a relatable path of lessons in self-leadership. Becky’s authenticity and unique experiences enhance her powerful messages. 24/7 is a book that you will want to refer to again and again as you find yourself in tough positions as a leader or as the person being led.

About The Author

REBECCA S. (Becky) HALSTEAD, retired brigadier general, US Army, is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy. Becky achieved a historic milestone as the first female graduate of West Point to be promoted to general officer. As the senior commanding general for logistics in Iraq, she was the first female in US history to command in combat at the strategic level. In Iraq she was responsible for leading over two hundred multidisciplinary units (twenty thousand military and five thousand civilians) providing supply, maintenance, transportation and distribution support to over 250,000 personnel serving in Iraq.

The culmination of Becky’s career came in 2006 when she became the first female chief of ordnance and commanding general of the Army’s Ordnance Center and Schools (equivalent to president of a university). Becky honorably served with the US Army and retired as a general officer in 2008.

Becky has over fifteen years of executive‐level leadership experience, developing and training high-performing, complex, and diverse units capable of strategic planning and execution. She has a record of leading change, building successful teams in demanding environments (Afghanistan and Iraq), and creating innovative systems and programs to solve complex problems. In addition to an experienced leader and logistician, Becky is known as a highly effective communicator. She founded her own leader consultancy company, STEADFAST Leadership, with the intent of extending lessons learned in the military to the civilian world. She specializes in inspirational speaking, consulting, and advising, and serves as a member of multiple military, corporate, and nonprofit boards of advisers.

Becky was a recipient of the 2007 National Women’s History Project award for “Generations of Women Moving History Forward.” She also served as a commissioner on the President’s Military Leadership Diversity Commission from 2009 to 2010. Becky’s STEADFAST Leadership model was the subject of a 2011 Harvard Business School Leadership Case Study.

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