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Rebecca Halstead Stead Fast Case Analysis

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MBA 521



GAYATRI SUBRAMANIAN                                                                                                                     BRYANT UNIVERSITY

December 23, 2015

To:  Dr. Lori Coakley, Professor of Management

From: Gayatri Subramanian

Date: December 23, 2015

Subject:  Rebecca Halstead: Steadfast leadership case analysis memo

Executive summary:  Brigadier Rebecca Halstead served in the U.S Army from April 1982 to September 2008. Her subordinates remember her as one of the most successful and efficient leaders of the US army. After her retirement Halstead was elected President of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association. She joined a consulting firm as Executive Director for leader development. She later founded her own consulting firm, Steadfast Leadership. 

 The case depicts Rebecca Halstead as an inspirational leader and influencer. She has been a revolutionist who broke the silo of traditional administration and management. Her accomplishments and achievements speak of her uncompromising goal driven grit. The case memo focuses on in-depth analysis of Halstead’s traits, leadership style and attitude towards challenging situations that lead to successful outcomes.  


Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead possessed distinctive characteristics that bolsters leadership. Intelligence, gregariousness, perseverance, optimism, determination and diligence were synonymic to Becky’s behavior. These unparalleled traits and characteristics were instrumental in molding her into an influencer. The diagram in the exhibits depicts her personality and the qualities. (Refer Exhibit 1 and 2).

An interviewer once asked Becky about her views on effective accomplishment of mission, she said “To accomplish a mission, one must first know what the mission is”. She strongly believed that it was essential to clearly convey the goals and establish familiarity with it .She circulated a memorandum that articulated her outlook and aims, it was known as the STEADFAST philosophy. STEADFAST is the acronym of Soldiers, Training, Excellence, Attitude, Discipline, Family, Accountability, Selfless Service and Teamwork. The first component of the acronym being soldier is indicative of the importance she held for her subordinates. She was goal driven yet open to new challenges and ideas. Becky’s designation bestowed upon her enormous authority and power, yet she chose to approach the soldiers as an encourager and enabler.

“Leadership is thus a subtle process of mutual influence fusing thoughts, feeling and action.”(Bolman and Deal.pp.347). According to leadership principles, effective leaders focus on the vision, set protocols and standards for performance measure and guide the subordinates in the direction of goal. Becky’s leadership styles were unique. She inspired people and emphasized on core values and focused on integrity. She connected with her subordinates and led with her heart. She was also highly self-disciplined.  A leader must evoke pride, loyalty and cooperation and Becky was invincible at it. Based on the leadership styles outlined by Globe researchers. (Refer exhibit 4) Becky’s leadership can be associated with the charismatic, humane and democratic leadership style. Rebecca Halstead’s subordinates have shared their experiences and have commented on her leadership, as mentioned in the case, Martine Kidd who served under Halstead for two years said, “She was a national treasure. A whole lot of soldiers in the US army are still a reflection of her leadership. So she is making an impact in the Army to this date.” (Groysberg and Bell, 2011. pp.14) These words of Martine indicates that she was a charismatic and inspirational leader.

In Halstead’s words “Selfless services cannot be measured. It is not a goal or destination, it’s a journey. It springs up from inside and has no race or gender. It is a lifestyle, not a moment of courage.” (Groysberg and Bell, 2011.pp.14). Her beliefs symbolize her humane leadership style.

Lieutenant Colonel Kirk Wilson mentioned, “In the army we have a set of values that we live by which center on trust and selfless service, and if you pile up our set of Army values. A picture of General Halstead would just light up right next to them, because she truly is and represents all of those things. And she gets everyone around her to do the same thing.” (Groysberg and Bell, 2011.pp.14). These comments about Halstead helps us understand that she was highly democratic and motivated people around her.

In her approach, Rebecca Halstead perfectly amalgamated of all four frames, i.e. Structural, Human Resource, Political and Symbolic. Four frame model in the exhibits highlights Rebecca Halstead’s leadership frames. (Refer exhibit 3a and 3b).

“The process of influencing others in a manner that enhances their contributions to the realizations of group goals.” (Turner et al.2011) The case reveals that Becky Halstead was a revolutionary leader. The Influencer Model elucidates three keys to create change: firstly to focus and measure, followed by finding the vital behaviors and lastly engaging all six sources of influence. Rebecca Halstead’s approaches and actions in various circumstances shows that these keys were implemented to foster the change she foresaw. She was a demanding commander who knew her subordinates well. She focused on each one’s ability and measured their potential before assigning a task. She was compassionate and concerned. She knew how to examine the vital behaviors. As an influencer she was successful in increasing productivity, performance and efficiency of her subordinates.



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