I was honored recently to be interviewed on Rear Admiral (Ret.) Garry Hall’s award-winning podcast, “The Admiral’s Almanac.” Gary and I served in the Middle East together during the height of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.  He is an inspirational former Navy pilot, standard bearer of honor and has a sense of humor that’s second to none.  We discussed “T3” leadership … it’s origins, its impact and its applicability outside the Navy. Listen below or keep reading for the podcast recap.

  • TEAMWORK:  The high-performing groups I admired most as part of big family, when watching TV and movies, as a Naval Officer, and now in the corporate boardrooms, were the ones where individuals had the highest degree of loyalty to each other.  Loyalty begins by a leader building relationships with every member of the team.  The by-product of relationships is trust.  If there is an inevitable disagreement on a topic, teammates who share a positive relationship and trust each other have something to fall back in order to continue working together effectively.  The best way to build trust?  Be a person of integrity … ensure one’s words match their actions so that there is no “say – do mismatch.”  It’s a good lesson to follow for every segment of the public and private sector.  
  • TONE:  This is a synonym for an organization’s culture, its mood, its atmosphere.  The military units and business organizations I observed with the most positive “Tone” were the ones with constant, inclusive communications (personal, verbal and electronic).  It gave a chance for leaders to demonstrate they cared more about the people on their team vs. how much they know about issues. I worked directly for Admirals and Generals in southwest Asia who were given some the greatest leadership responsibilities of this generation.  The ones who motivated others with the best “Tone” were the ones who got out amongst their personnel to thank them for their contributions, reminded them of the shared mission and asked what could be done better.  They responded to emails with a “Thank You,” a short comment of the message’s value and often widened the distro group to bring the originator’s good work to others’ attention. 
  • TENACITY:  More than endurance, “Tenacity” is perseverance with a purpose.  It’s knowing what the desired end looks like, viewing all obstacles as surmountable and never accepting failure as a final outcome. We also touched on a personal medical aspect to “Tenacity” for many people like Garry Hall and I; Cancer Survivors.  This is one of the most tenacious groups I’ve ever met, fiercely fighting for positive outcomes no matter odds.  In those cases, “Faith, Family and Fitness becomes an outstanding partner to “T3.” 

Together, the “Three T’s” help improve individual and organizational performance more than any other practice I’ve seen.  I originally experienced them in uniform as a follower of  those who demonstrated them best, then began applying them myself.  Now in the private sector, I find they are completely equatable to the private sector’s pillars of “Performance, Productivity and Profit,” a comparison I highlight at many keynote speeches to corporate audiences. 

Thank you again, Garry Hall, for including our conversation in the Wit and Wisdom of “The Admiral’s Almanac.”   Life is too short not to know leaders and have friends like you.  

– Rear Admiral Paul Becker, USN (Ret) is a motivational and national security keynote speaker.  He is a leadership professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and the CEO of The Becker T3 Group. In 2016, The Naval Intelligence Community established “The Rear Admiral Becker ‘Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity Award for Leadership” in his honor.  To connect with Paul t, visit his website:

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