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Academy Leadership

The Gettysburg Leadership Experience

The Gettysburg Leadership Experience
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The Gettysburg Leadership Experience brings executives to the Civil War battlefield to learn timeless lessons on leadership. Now you can experience what CEO's and their top teams have found so compelling and gain new insights and new ideas on...

  • How leaders can make the right calls amid murky, ill-defined conditions, incomplete information and high pressure
  • The intricacies of decision-making in very large organizations, and how culture affects what's possible
  • How successful leaders share their vision for success and reduce the possibility of misinterpretation
  • How leaders develop imagination and courage in themselves and others
  • Why character is a central element of leadership

Through on-the-ground study of the leadership challenges facing commanders in the largest battle ever fought in North America, participants learn practical, usable lessons-about team building, morale and courage, dealing with ambiguity, effective communication, and the execution of strategic intent-that will benefit their organizations today.


Day One

  • 3:00 — 5:00 PMCheck in Antrim 1844 Country House.
  • 6:00 — 7:00 PMThe program begins with remarks by our historian Ed Ruggero who will present the historical background to the battle of Gettysburg. The discussion sets the stage for the battlefield visit the following day.
  • 7:00 PM5-Course Dinner in private dining room: discuss current leadership challenges

Day Two

  • 7:00 AMFull Breakfast on mansion veranda
  • 8:00 AMDepart Antrim Country House for battlefield by executive bus
  • 8:30 — 10:30 AMDay 1 (July 1, 1863) - The Improvised Battle

Leadership Moments:

  • Conveying Leader's Intent
  • Taking Charge
  • Relying on Subordinates to Assess and Make Critical Decisions
  • Losing Sight of the Objective
  • Synchronizing Assets
  • Strategy vs. Execution

10:30 — 12:00 PMDay 2 (July 2, 1863) - The Orchestrated Battle

Leadership Moments:

  • Communicating Effectively
  • Role of the Individual in Shaping Events
  • Viewing the Tactical Battlefield
  • Strategy vs. Execution

12:00 — 1:00 PMLunch in historic Gettysburg1:00 — 3:30 PMDay 3 (July 3, 1863) - Act of Desperation or Coordinated Attack?

Leadership Moments:

  • Communicating Intent
  • Activity Doesn't Equate to Progress
  • Leadership by Example
  • Taking Responsibility
  • Strategy vs. Execution

3:30 PMThe Aftermath

Reflection at the National Cemetery

  • 4:00 — 4:30 PMVisit Gettysburg Museum
  • 4:30 — 5:00 PMEn route to Antrim Country House
  • 6:00 — 7:00 PMReception with re-enactor demonstration in Drawing Room
  • 7:00 PM5-Course Dinner in private dining room

Day Three

  • 7:00 AM Full breakfast on mansion veranda
  • 8:00 — 11:00 AMLeadership Workshop to discuss the application of principles learned on the Battlefield to leadership challenges today and how to develop a Personal Leadership Philosophy — The Leader's Compass.
  • 11:00 AMHotel check-out and departure


Bill Blackburn, CDR, USN (ret) is the founder and President of Blackburn & Associates, LLC and an Affiliate of Academy Leadership. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Leadership for Villanova University. Bill has spent three careers and over 36 years immersed in the study and practice o...
Ed Ruggero has been studying, practicing and teaching leadership for more than twenty-five years, helping organizations develop the kinds of leaders people want to follow. His client list includes the FBI, the New York City Police Department, CEO Conference Europe, the CIA, the Young Presidents O...


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