Leadership Lessons from Gettysburg
If you were a leader in or around the village of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in early July 1863, your blind spots likely got people killed.
We like to think of blind spots as a modern phenomenon, but they’re a part of the human condition and have been with us for as long as we’ve walked this planet. This reality was driven home for the members of our Vistage group when we held a staff “ride along” with the U.S. Army War College at the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Colonel Rick “Lunchbox” Sheffe, USAF, was our guide for the day and brought the leadership lessons from Gettysburg’s bloody Civil War engagement alive. When people think broadly about historical battles, they think mostly about casualties, maneuvers, actions taken, and how the engagement unfolded. Even more significant, though, are the personalities of the leaders on both sides. How did they think? Were they ambitious? Who did they trust, and what were their agendas?
I asked Colonel Sheffe about the players and what a modern leader might learn from the Battle at Gettysburg.
Here’s what he said.
In Vistage, we often discuss the current challenges of the day—at both the macro and the micro level. Just as rewarding, however, is looking back at history to examine the true consequences of blind spots and learn from past leaders’ actions so that we can make better decisions today.
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