In The Footsteps of Leaders: Gettysburg Leadership Training Program

In The Footsteps of Leaders: Gettysburg Leadership Training Program

Gettysburg Hotel
One Lincoln Square | Gettysburg, PA 17325
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - Thursday, October 24, 2019
Print Agenda

Wednesday, October 23

Morning Attendees arrive in Gettysburg
11 a.m.

Overview of the Program and Orientation – Gettysburg Hotel

-Gene Barr, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Chamber

  • Gene will provide a brief summary of why the Battle of Gettysburg happened in the first place and its significance in history, number of casualties, and what current preservation efforts the Park is undergoing.  He also will update the audience on what to expect the next two days, as well as business leadership lessons that will be included in the education.
11:30 a.m. Luncheon at the Gettysburg Hotel
12:15 p.m.

Battlefield Leadership Tour

Shuttle Bus - meets group at the entrance to the Gettysburg Hotel. Battlefield Leadership Tour with Licensed Battlefield Guide Sue Boardman which includes on-the-field facilitation of leadership decisions regarding the July 1-2, 1863 battle.

4:30 p.m.

Battlefield Leadership Tour Day 1 Concludes

Return to the Gettysburg Hotel for attendee check in.

4:45 p.m. Welcome Reception at the Gettysburg Hotel – includes beverages and hors d’oeuvres
Brief remarks from Gene Barr, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Chamber and other dignitaries
6:00 p.m. Dinner – a list of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel will be provided.

Thursday, October 24

7 a.m. Breakfast Buffet at the Gettysburg Hotel.  Attendees check out; luggage will be stored by the Hotel
8 a.m. Shuttle Bus meets group at the entrance to the Gettysburg Hotel and delivers to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
8:15 a.m. “A New Birth of Freedom” Film and Cyclorama Experience
9 a.m.

Battlefield Leadership Tour with Licensed Battlefield Guide Sue Boardman which includes on-the-field facilitation of leadership decisions regarding the battle of July 1-3, 1863. The tour will include a Fence Building Team Exercise at the George Spangler Farm.

12:30 p.m.

Catered luncheon at the Leadership Conference Center at the George Spangler Farm

1:30 p.m.

Debriefing — Facilitated by Gene Barr, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Chamber

2 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Shuttle Bus — Group returns to the Gettysburg Hotel to retrieve luggage

Participants will be asked to dress the following way for the tour of the Battlefield:

  • Casual and comfortable clothing
  • Raingear, umbrella (if needed)
  • Hat/Sun visor and sunscreen
  • Walking shoes, boots or sneakers
  • Bug/tick spray

Bottled water will be provided.  Rest stops will be included throughout the morning and afternoon.


16 Leadership Lessons Participants Will Learn From the Gettysburg Leadership Training Program

  1. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Vision vs Reality
    Confederate General Lee’s strategy or vision for the summer of 1863 was to achieve an independent south through a decisive victory on Northern soil.  He failed in the execution of his vision because of his overconfidence in his own army, he failed to appreciate the human element of his own team, and he underestimated his opponent.
  2. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Team-building
    Confederate General Lee had to reorganize his leadership team and made his choice of new commanders based on Hill’s and Ewell’s past performances at lower levels of responsibility under the command of the respected but recently deceased Stonewall Jackson, and the fact that both men were “Virginians”.  Failure to adjust his leadership style to account for the fact that two of his three commanders were untested at their new level of responsibility led to misunderstandings, miscommunication and lack of coordination among the parts of Lee’s army.
  3. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Team-building
    Union General Meade was appointed as the new commander of the Union Army two days before the Battle of Gettysburg.  He was the 5th in succession over a two-year period and did not seek nor want the position.  He inherited a staff assembled by the previous commander, General Hooker, who had a very different personality, leadership style and organizational focus than Meade. (While Hooker’s headquarters was described as a cross between a barroom and a brothel filled with his political cronies, Meade was modest, frank and professional and demanded the same from those he led).  Meade was unable to make major staff changes due to the pending battle.  However, he made temporary adjustments by disregarding seniority protocol (after seeking approval from Washington) to ensure he had the right generals in the right places.
  4. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Communication; Initiative
    Union General Buford and the Union cavalry were tasked with providing current and credible information to the Union high command.  Buford did that and much more, recognizing that he could greatly improve the position of the Union Army by taking additional steps not necessarily required of him.  He communicated his plans ahead of time to his superior and other leaders in the army who would be affected by his actions (Reynolds’ 1st Corps). He mounted a delaying tactic that secured the high ground south of town; dismounted his cavalry to give the illusion of numerical strength. 
  5. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Communication; Team Cohesiveness
    Confederate Cavalry commander J. E. B. Stuart failed to deliver timely information to the Confederate army as it moved about in enemy country, causing Lee to be unaware of the close proximity of the Union Army.  Lee’s entire strategic plan for the Confederate forces (to capture Harrisburg) was derailed as his army was drawn into an unplanned battle in Gettysburg.  Stuart had been given several mandates by Lee (gathering information, guarding the flanks of the army, guarding supply trains, and cutting communication and transportation lines) who caused him to be distracted at a critical time.
  6. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Trust; Micromanagement; Succession Crisis
    Union General Reynolds arrived on the battlefield with 10,000 men under his command, divided into a number of smaller units led by capable leaders.  Rather than issuing an order to a brigade commander to lead men into the fight, Reynolds stepped into a role two command levels below his own to lead the brigade into action himself.  He was killed, leaving his 10,000 men without a commander until a subordinate was found and informed of the change in command.
  7. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Delegation; Collaboration; Trust; Adaptability; Integrity
    Union General Hancock was appointed by General Meade to act on his behalf at Gettysburg until he himself could arrive with the main body of the army.  Hancock was not the senior officer on the field (General Howard was) but through Hancock’s professional approach, he defused a potentially contentious situation by offering to collaborate with Howard in placing the troops in optimal positions for defense.  Howard, although angry over the situation, did not raise the issue until after the battle so as not to detract from the task at hand.
  8. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Communication; Following Through
    Confederate General Lee’s intention, upon seeing the Union army retreating through the town on the afternoon of July 1st, was to pursue them beyond the important high ground of Cemetery Hill.  However, his order to General Ewell conveying that intent was ambiguous and discretionary, which was in keeping with his usual style of communication.  To new commander Ewell, however, the orders were confusing and unclear which led to his failure to complete the mission at hand.  Lee’s failure to adapt his leadership style to his new commander resulted in a protracted battle and a Confederate defeat.
  9. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Building Team Cohesiveness; Communication
    Confederate General Lee’s planning for July 2nd was hindered by lack of Stuart’s intelligence and Longstreet’s reluctance to buy in to the plan.  So when the battle does finally commence, there is a lack of coordination and communication on several levels of the organization.
  10. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Accountability; Team Cohesiveness; Delegation
    Union General Meade’s sound defensive position was disrupted when a rogue officer, General Sickles, chose to follow his own agenda rather than serve the organizational mission.  General Sickles moved his 10,000-man corps away from the main line against orders, causing Meade to waste valuable time and resources in order to compensate for the weakness Sickles created in the line.  Sickles’ allegiance was to Meade’s predecessor, General Hooker, not to Meade or the organization as a whole. His lack of respect for Meade, and for Meade’s position as commander nearly brought down the Union Army at Gettysburg.
  11. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Initiative; Communication
    As Confederates began their attack against the Union left flank on July 2nd, Union General Meade sent a staff officer, General Warren, to Little Round Top to assess the situation.  Warren recognized the vulnerability of this key piece of high ground after Sickles had vacated it and took the initiative to see to its protection.  He went in search of troops and encountered a brigade commander, Strong Vincent who was willing to take the initiative to go with him and defend the hill.  Vincent clearly communicated the situation as well as his expectation for each of his four regiments.  He chose his largest and most dependable regiment, the 20th Maine commanded by Col. Chamberlain, to protect the flank.
  12. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Vision; Adaptability; Initiative
    Union Col. Chamberlain understood his responsibility to “hold the position on the Union left flank at all hazards” and took extraordinary measures to comply.  He personally placed the men in position, rallied them when the battle raged, made constant adjustments in the line, and at one point he refused (bent back) his line for extra protection.  He finally led an audacious bayonet charge down the slope against an attacking force which ultimately saved the hill from capture.
  13. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Communication; Team-building; Leading by Example; Integrity; Empathy
    Union Col. Strong Vincent’s decision to place the 20th Maine on the Union flank on July 2nd was because it was his largest and best-led regiment in his brigade and therefore the best hope for success in defending the flank.  The size of the regiment was due to the fact that Chamberlain had previously convinced 160 mutineers from the 2nd Maine to fight with his regiment as an alternative to being court martialed.  He appealed to their value as individuals and convinced them of the merit of the higher cause for which they were all fighting.  He showed empathy toward them and treated them with respect, ultimately convincing nearly all of them to join the ranks of the 20th Maine.
  14. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Collaboration; Consensus Gathering
    By late on July 2nd, the Union army managed to maintain its defensive line on the hills and ridges to the east. The first day of battle was considered a Confederate victory and the second day was a draw, although Lee misperceived it as another victory for his army.  At this point in the battle, both commanders are planning for the third day.  Meade, in his fifth day as commander, summoned his corps commanders to his headquarters where they discussed the condition of the army and voted on what position the Union Army should take next.  He also anticipated Lee’s next move and prepared for it.  Confederate General Lee, after reviewing the day’s battle reports, set the course for his army for the following day.  He did not discuss strategy nor entertain opinions from his commanders who felt the attack would fail. 
  15. Battlefield Leadership Lesson: Collaboration; Accountability
    When the Confederate attack on July 3rd failed, Lee took responsibility for the failure while encouraging his men to prepare for a Union counterattack.
  16. Battlefield Leadership Lesson:  Communication; Empathy
    When the Battle of Gettysburg ended, Union General Meade informed Lincoln of the Union victory and looked to the condition of his men.  Lincoln expected Meade to pursue Lee but Meade chose not to.  When Lincoln learned that Lee had escaped back into Virginia unmolested, he wrote a critical letter to Meade in which he detailed his frustration in pithy terms but refrained from sending it.  After receiving additional information from other Union generals, Lincoln wrote a second letter offering a mixture of praise and constructive criticism.

Register to attend

Online registration for this event is now closed. For more information call 877.866.8965