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Program Design

WALK THE GROUND. GAIN THE insights.

Start with the setting called “the finest classroom in America.” Involve instructors and guides as passionate as they are knowledgeable. Merge field discovery with visually enhanced classroom sessions. Call on the richest case studies to amplify timeless leadership tenets. Then draw from the dynamic dialog flowing as connections are made. That is the energy that differentiates this program.

Insightful. Stimulating. Strategic. Relevant. This is real-life leadership development.

Our dedicated programs are ideal for organizations with defined leadership training goals and those in the process of creating them. Program length and curricula can be customized, and additional resources—assessments, tours and more—provided to address internal objectives. Our ongoing clients find these highly valuable for team building and sales incentives.

Our open enrollment sessions meet the needs of those seeking an exceptional leadership training opportunity on an individual or small-group basis. A limited number of these experiences are slated each year and fill rapidly.

May 19-20, 2015 Gettysburg, PA
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October 20-21, 2015 Gettysburg, PA
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Program Modules and Case Studies

The Gettysburg Leadership Experience uses a variety of uniquely tailored, core learning modules to explore different aspects of leadership, followership, or organizational dynamics.The core modules are complemented with action-oriented case studies focused on key lessons tied to specific conversations and events that occurred in July 1863. These points of engagement are customized for the specific learning objectives of your team and organization.

Instructors

Chuck Burkell

Principal of Burkell & Associates, a leadership development consultancy

The Gettysburg Battlefield Experience offers a huge opportunity for those who desire to lead better to walk the ground, experience what happened in 1863 and take that knowledge home to apply to their personal and professional lives.
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Dr. William E. Rosenbach

Founding partner of The Gettysburg Leadership Experience at Gettysburg College

This program draws great power from our use of metaphors—Left Flank, High Ground—that become bookmarks in our clients’ personal and professional lives.
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Ambassador Lawrence P. Taylor

Founding partner of The Gettysburg Leadership Experience at Gettysburg College

What excites me most about the Gettysburg Leadership Experience is the potential for what is gained here to live on, providing benefits to the clients who come and those they lead.
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Donald T. Phillips

Best-selling author of more than 20 books

Gettysburg is a great microcosm for all sorts of leadership. There was just so much to the battle—dealing with the unexpected, the need for immediate decision-making, generational differences. Looking at Generals Lee and Meade, we see what can happen when middle management—the colonels and majors, in this case—are given the freedom to be flexible and creative in their solutions.

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Guides

Terry Fox

Battlefield Guide Emeritus of Gettysburg National Military Park

Whether we’re working with leaders of a pharmaceutical firm, an agriculture co-op or a group from the federal government, we’re dealing with people who strongly want to be proactive in guiding their organizations.
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Partners

We gratefully acknowledge our relationship with the following organizations that contribute to the success of the program:

Fox

Terry Fox

Whether we’re working with leaders of a pharmaceutical firm, an agriculture co-op or a group from the federal government, we’re dealing with people who strongly want to be proactive in guiding their organizations. They’re trying to grasp what’s coming next. We’re able to draw parallels with events that happened more than 150 years ago as memorable case studies of anticipatory leadership. In High Ground, for example, we draw from the example of General John Buford. No one knew this man before Gettysburg. His view was, ‘It’s not whether we win today, but if by falling back to the high ground, can we win it tomorrow?' That’s a different way of thinking.

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Chuck Burkell

The American Civil War was not only a turning point in our history, but a prime example of what can occur when there is a huge adaptive problem humans cannot resolve. The Gettysburg Battlefield Experience offers a huge opportunity for those who desire to lead better to walk the ground, experience what happened in 1863 and take that knowledge home to apply to their personal and professional lives.

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Dr. William E. Rosenbach

I’ve been researching and teaching leadership for about 40 years. When we were creating The Gettysburg Leadership Experience, we made transformational leadership the foundation. Now, we’re the first program to include the concept of followership development, and we have the only validated instrument to measure that knowledge. I also believe this program draws great power from our use of metaphors—Left Flank, High Ground—that become bookmarks in our clients’ personal and professional lives. We hear, all the time, from people saying, ‘I never particularly liked history…and now I’m bringing my family back.'

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Ambassador Lawrence P. Taylor

What excites me most about the Gettysburg Leadership Experience is the potential for what is gained here to live on, providing benefits to the clients who come and those they lead. It is a unique program with long-lasting sustainability. Many of our clients from 14 years ago still use the learning the program provides, still speak in the metaphors learned here, still work with the principles. The evidence of the program’s success is overwhelming in terms of the people who stay in contact.

Donald T. Phillips

Gettysburg is a great microcosm for all sorts of leadership. There was just so much to the battle—dealing with the unexpected, the need for immediate decision-making, generational differences. Looking at Generals Lee and Meade, we see what can happen when middle management—the colonels and majors, in this case—are given the freedom to be flexible and creative in their solutions. I think it’s impossible to walk Pickett’s Charge without wondering what Lee was thinking as he gave orders, what the soldiers were thinking as they heard them. It is a remarkable place to experience and learn.

Anticipatory Leadership

Seize your strategic advantage. General John Buford and General John Reynolds leveraged higher-elevation landscape and other assets to maximize their Day 1 position. How can you claim your “high ground?”

Case Study: The High Ground

General John Buford of the Union Calvary was the first to see General Robert E. Lee has led the Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania. Recognizing the strategic advantage within reach, he orchestrated a staged sequence of “fight and drop back.” At the close of Day One, the Union line was indeed back, suggesting a victory for the South. But Buford’s initial strategy allowed the Union Army to set up a defensive line on the other side of Gettysburg—the high ground. Some insist his foresight and execution won the battle of Gettysburg.

Transactional & Transformational Leadership

Identify your areas of highest risk. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain faced a stark choice: to stay and fight with no ammo or retreat and leave the entire Army exposed. How do you decide when to hold firm in the face of strong opposition?


Case Study: The Left Flank

On Day Two of the battle, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was challenged to hold the left flank of the Union position at Little Round Top at all costs. His actions embodied a modern model of leadership merging transactional (equitable exchange of rewards for behavior expected) and transformational (clarifying vision and purpose motivating others). The combination resulted in his troop’s accomplishing the seemingly impossible and the college professor-turned-soldier’s being revered decades later.

Clarity of Communication

Utilize common language and direct communication for the purpose of understanding. Because General Lee’s leadership team at Gettysburg was relatively new, communication and performance suffered. How can you keep dialog direct as transition occurs?

Case Study: Lee and His Generals

When Robert E. Lee led his troops to Gettysburg, he did so with a relatively new leadership team. Stonewall Jackson, his trusted advisor, had been mortally wounded. General J.E.B. Stuart, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia’s cavalry, was supposedly off on a raid in enemy territory, leaving Lee blind to the movements of the Union Army. This module deals with the transition of the new generals in their roles, effective communication and issues relating to performance management.

Managing Disagreement

Master the strategic art of communication in the face of conflict and disagreement. If Generals Lee and Longstreet had explored options and reached consensus, these dynamic partners with divergent visions might well have succeeded at Gettysburg. What communication negotiation skills can enhance your operational outcomes?

Case Study: Pickett's Charge

Here we examine one of the most important decisions of the Battle of Gettysburg. At the heart is a crucial conversation where the stakes were high, opinions diverse and emotions intense. This module deconstructs what goes wrong in the conversation between General Lee and General Longstreet—strong friends with sharply differing opinions on the potential success of Pickett’s Charge.

Predictable Surprises

Beware the blind spots of success. After a string of victories and leadership changes, Day 3—one of the most hotly debated points in Gettysburg history—proved a turning point for the Confederates. How can you maintain focus when success sparks powerful momentum?

Case Study: Lee and Longstreet at the Moment of Decision

One of the most important tasks a leader must master is decision making in the midst of change. Using Day 3 of the battle and the discussions that lead to the fateful Pickett’s Charge as the backdrop, this case study focuses participants on the potential pitfalls of success and how to gather information before the moment of decision.

The Dual Role of Leader and Follower

Find the power in followership. Unlike his counterparts, General Daniel E. Sickles defied direct orders, setting in motion a cascade of negative consequences for Union forces at Gettysburg. When you must follow as well as lead, how do you align with both people and purpose?

Case Study: The Peach Orchard

General Dan Sickles at Gettysburg shows us a type of “followership” which greatly weakened the Union position on Day Two because of his independent action to move his division to another position on the battlefield. The model of “followership” that is used helps participants understand both themselves as followers and how to develop the kinds of followers we need in complex organizations.

Level 5 Leadership

Claim your leadership style. While President Abraham Lincoln’s values kept him grounded, his visionary style—including the mental development of a desired future—is a model for balanced leadership. How can claiming your individual style further your vision and action?

Case Study: Lincoln at Gettysburg

Here, we view Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address through the lens of James Collins’ concept of Level 5 Leadership, which involves a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional will. Lincoln’s discipline and clarity about the purpose of the war—to hold together the Union and provide freedom to all—brought clarity to all like a spotlight illuminates with great intensity the focus of the beam.