Overview: Each April or May, a small group of no more than 30 senior local government managers will meet to study the leadership lessons of Gettysburg. This is a unique opportunity to join colleagues in an exploration of personal leadership, organizational effectiveness, and the lessons of history.
The leadership lessons of the battle of Gettysburg, the leadership styles of Lincoln and Eisenhower, and the aftermath or disaster recovery of the town of Gettysburg after the battle of 1863 form the core of this site specific leadership institute offered in conjuntion with the Gettysburg Foundation.
Background: In July of 1863, the turning point of the American Civil War occurred at the Battle of Gettysburg. Here, General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army of 75,000 men and the 97,000-strong Northern Army of General George Meade met, by chance, when a Confederate brigade sent there for supplies observed a forward column of Meade’s Calvary. Of the more than 2,000 land engagements of the Civil War, Gettysburg ranks supreme. Although these battles did not end the war, nor attain any major war aim for either North or South, it remains the great battle of the war and with it brings great leadership lessons of strategy, flexibility, communication, rigor, organizational function, and dysfunction that are applicable to effective local government today.
On Wednesday afternoon, preparation for the leadership lessons of Gettysburg continues as we review the institute's agenda, view Gettysburg (the film), have dinner and begin our leadership discussion.
On Thursday morning, we begin at the Gettysburg Foundation Museum for a brief overview of the historical context and strategic importance of the Battle of Gettysburg. We will talk about the command structures, strategies, and methods of communication during the battle, which contain relevant examples for today’s leaders in decision-making, team building, and planning strategies for success. With the aid of a professional interpretive guide who has a rare passion for and understanding of the Gettysburg experience, we will visit the battle lines of North and South. As part of the tour we will leave the bus and, on the field bisected by the Emmetsburg Road south of the Borough of Gettysburg, we will walk the field of the famous Pickett’s Charge. We'll study good and bad examples of leadership, the importance of communication, leading by example, recognizing and appropriately utilizing talent and skill, understanding the benefits and limitations of the tools and resources available.
Friday morning will begin with more discussion over breakfast at the Gettysburg Museum of the impact of leadership during the battle. Then the group will then enter a museum classroom for a study of contemporary and historical leadership styles ending with President Abraham Lincoln’s trip to dedicate the National Cemetery with a “few appropriate remarks” that lasted only two minutes and which we know as the Gettysburg Address. In the afternoon, we will visit the hallowed ground of the National Cemetery with a special interpretive guide and participate in other learning activities. We will study the impact of the battle on the population of 2,000, which had to provide services for the more than 51,000 casualties as a result of the battle. Over 152,455 men and 550 cannons were positioned in an area encompassing 25 square miles. Additionally, an estimated 569 tons of ammunition was expended and, when the battle had ended, 5,000 dead horses and the other wreckage of war presented a scene of terrible devastation, which will serve as a case study on disaster management. We will wrap up with a debriefing at the Gettysburg Museum Ford Education Center.
Registration: Dates and registration info for the 2014 program will be available in fall 2013.
Cost: In 2013, the registration fee was $895, which included all interpretive fees and materials, bus transportation, dinner on Wednesday, lunch on Thursday, and breakfast on Friday. Team rates are also available.
Dates: 2014 dates will be announced in fall 2013.
Lodging: Attendees stay at the Wyndham Gettysburg at 95 Presidential Circle. Room block information to be announced.
Required pre-reading: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Contact: If you have questions, please e-mail email@example.com
Arrival 3:00 pm
Opening Session (3:30) and Dinner—Wyndham Gettysburg
Leadership Lessons of the Battlefield
Lunch—Box Lunch on the Battlefield
Abraham Lincoln: Mission Driven Leadership
Lunch—on your own
Gettysburg National Cemetery
Gettysburg: The Battle and Aftermath
The Town Experience: Case study of disaster management
"I had the pleasure of attending the Gettysburg Leadership Institute not once, but twice. The first time, I attended by myself and found the experience to be exceptional. It was an honor to learn more about the people involved in the battle and the strength and resilience of the citizens and town of Gettysburg. These were truly inspirational stories of leadership that can translate to the work we are performing in our communities today. I was moved so much by the program that I returned two years later with our entire senior management team who had heard me speak often of the leadership lessons learned from the Battle of Gettysburg. Our team loved the program, as well as the opportunity to learn together, and have translated the lessons learned into positive leadership work for our organization. Clearly, there is no better way to lead and inspire others than to learn from real life lessons and when this can be learned in the context of the Battle of Gettysburg, it is truly moving for everyone involved."
— Cheryl A. Hilvert, ICMA-CM, former city manager, City of Montgomery, Montgomery, Ohio
"A leadership education experience that takes history and makes it relevant to our own everyday work lives. I still think back to the lessons I learn from The ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute, well worth the time."
— Daniel “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, ICMA-CM, City Manager, City of Rochester, New Hampshire
"The Gettysburg Leadership Institute was a very powerful and moving experience for me. The analysis of leadership within the context of one of the most pivotal times in our nation’s history proved to be a very rich opportunity for learning about leadership..."
— Eric A. Keck, ICMA-CM, City Administrator, City of Post Falls, Idaho
"...I believe [Gettysburg Institute] to be one of the best leadership training programs that I have ever attended... What I found to be of particular value was the discussions we had with the guides about the decision processes used by the leaders from the North and South and how city/county managers can learn and apply the leadership lessons demonstrated at this historical battle. Another very valuable learning experience is walking the town of Gettysburg and learning how the town coped with armies from both sides moving and fighting through the town as well as how the citizens of Gettysburg addressed the human tragedy. The fascinating application of emergency management by the citizens of Gettysburg must be realized with the understanding that all the town leaders left town before the battle because they were afraid of being taken prisoner by the Confederate Army. After understanding the magnitude of what the citizens of Gettysburg faced and how they proactively managed that crisis I thought “No natural disaster we have yet faced compares to the human calamity confronted by the City of Gettysburg in July of 1863. As you can tell I am very excited about the Gettysburg leadership program that ICMA has designed and sponsors. The total number of participants is limited so submitting an early application is important. I only wish I could join you and participate for a second time."
— Mike Abels, ICMA-CM, Instructor, University of Central Florida, Deland, Florida
"The Institute was a fantastic opportunity to spend three days focused on Leadership skills, especially in relation to the Gettysburg battlefield. At this point in my career it provided a time of reflection and a chance to meet and get to know 29 other City Managers."
— Brian Donovan, ICMA-CM, City Manager, City of East Grand Rapids, Michigan
"This was an outstanding event; great learning experience. I’ve been to many training events, seminars, and conferences in the last 30 years; this was the best I’ve ever been to. Great job."
— Gary Adams, ICMA-CM, City Manager, City of Huber Heights, Ohio