In my previous post on June 22, I outlined several leadership lessons from our first leadership development session at the Battle of Gettysburg. Since then we have taken a couple of more historical trips; first to Boston and then back to Gettysburg where our second cohort of leaders were privileged to experience this transformational leadership journey.
While in Boston our company president ask those of us who attended the first session to offer one reflection on leadership that we had as a result of participation in the Gettysburg experience. Each participant spoke of the transformational impact that this experience had on them both personally and professionally. Most came away understanding that we are in this “battle” together, this battle to achieve our mission and vision. The camaraderie that resulted from such a time together will certainly carry us far.
After further reflection, I shared with the group one more take away that I took from the Battle of Gettysburg. “Battles and wars are not won by Generals. But Generals determine whether battles and wars are won.” Reliving the battle experience, I don’t recall many Generals lifting a weapon against the enemy. This was especially true for the senior most Generals. However it was particularly apparent that these Generals created the environment, set the stage, inspired the troops, and made decisions that were crucial to the outcome of the battle and of the war.
As leaders, we have the opportunity every day to create an environment and make decisions that enable our front line employees to achieve great things. Listen carefully. Think strategically. Be flexible. Remain humble.