Gettysburg: Historical Leadership Lessons


June 18, 2010


Just the word brings so many different images to a person’s mind.  Does it make you think of General Robert E. Lee?  Or maybe the Union and their fight to end slavery?  Maybe you’re a Gettysburg buff and it makes you think of General Longstreet and the way that he repeatedly told General Lee not to take on the Union army in the way that he ultimately did.  Maybe you think of Colonel Chamberlain and how he used his cunning and calm leadership style to succeed with his troops at the battle of Little Round Top.

Well, if you’re like me, you think of all those things and more.  Gettysburg is one of those places where you can visit today and step back into history.  It really is as close as you can get to using a time machine.  What is amazing are the lessons in leadership that can be gleaned when you examine how each general approached the war and the individual battles.  The same obstacles and decisions are very much alive in today’s business world and the ability to translate those lessons from 1863 to today is a good one to have.  So, how can you do this?

The Conference Board holds the “Leadership Experience at Gettysburg” quite often during the summer.  I am privileged to attend an upcoming session next week.  I’ll be writing more about that later but today I encourage you to click on the link below to learn more about this unique experience offered by The Conference Board.

Leadership Experience at Gettysburg

Have you ever participated in something similar?  Share it with us in the comments.


  • I am really looking forward to hearing about your experience next week. I have been a buff for years and have my own opinions on the points you raised and others. Can’t wait to talk about this stuff. My offer to swap Gettysburg for San Diego still stands.

  • I attended something similar at Gettysburg many years ago: “The Leadership Staff Rides”. We read The Killer Angels (Shaara) as a pre-read. We walked each day of the battle, then debriefed after. It was really an incredible experience.

  • Document your experience. I am always interested in seeing peoples reactions and thoughts on leadership seminars – since leadership experiences are so often defined differently depending on the organization and group!

  • What a great spot for lessons in leadership- so many great insights in the battle, and the many decisions leading up to it and since. And, so many retired there to live afterword- what a place-!

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.





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