Be-Know-Do Model of Leadership

In his blog post, Be-Know-Do, The Army’s Leadership Model, BG Allen shares the U. S. Army’s simple, but profound, leadership model, Be-Know-Do.

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:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Conceptual skills
  • Technical skills
  • Tactical skills

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:

  • Influencing
  • Operating
  • Improving

Awesome in its simplicity and elegance, the three words capture the essence of great leadership. On your magnificent journey, may you be, know and do everything to be more than you ever dreamed you could be. Dare to live the extraordinary potential that has been given you. Be relentless and passionate in your pursuit of your life’s purpose. Remember always the words of Washington Irving: “Great minds have purpose, others have wishes.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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7 Responses to Be-Know-Do Model of Leadership

  1. Jack Beach says:

    In addition to our values, BE is also about our motives, traits, assumptions, view of our social role, and self-image. It is our sense of identity: our self-definition or sense of who we are, where we are going, and how we fit into society. The first principle of Army leadership is to “Know yourself and seek self-improvement.” Great leaders are open to feedback, well-disposed to reflection, continually assess themselves, and have a thirst for growth. Leadership is manifested by what we do but that flows from who we are. BE governs what we DO, with what we KNOW. We cannot separate our development as leaders from our development as people.

  2. Victoria Littlefield says:

    I have just been looking through the Army Field Manual 6-22. In the 2015 update, I can’t find any mention of be, know, do. Do you know where it went?

  3. Jesse Topasna says:

    FM 6-22 (2015) does mention the BE, KNOW, DO in Leadership requirements 1-13 pg 1-3.
    The last part of the paragraph states, “This model aligns the desired outcome of leader development activities and personnel practices to a common set of characteristics valued throughout the Army.” “Attributes are the desired internal characteristics of a leader – what the Army wants leaders to BE and KNOW. Competencies are skills and learnable behaviors the Army expects leaders to acquire, demonstrate, and continue to enhance – what the Army wants leaders to DO.”
    See figure 1-1 Army leadership requirements model page 1-4.
    FM 22-100 (1965) & (1999) was superseded by FM 6-22 (2006, then 2015). As we all know, the Army reviews its doctrine and adjusts accordingly to support its mission. Concepts and approaches may be written differently, the base principles still apply.

    • Mike Reuter says:


      My apologies, my friend, for the long overdue note. Thank you. I haven’t heard the term FM- in a long, long time (e.g. FM 22-5) It felt good. Please take care and may you and your family be safe and well.

      Have a beautiful day and a magnificent weekend!!!


  4. Chris McPhee says:

    Mr. Reuter,

    I served 21 years in the U.S. Army, and when I enlisted in 1994, FM 22-1000, Army Leadership, Be-Know-Do was the rule and guide for military leadership.

    Thanks for sharing this blog.

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