Why attend ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute? Why not? Exactly! Ten years later I cherish the once in a lifetime opportunity and learning experience from Gettysburg. I took a leap of faith in attending and have no regrets. Standing on the battlefield as a member of General Lee’s Confederate Army, I felt the awe and impact of feeling trapped and recognizing that defeat was inevitable. Then, walking from the train station to the cemetery and reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg address on hallowed ground to imagine the blood bath flowing in the streets, the carnage, and recovery following the battle, I shuddered at the stamina and strength to rebuild and reinvigorate a community devastated from battle.
The effort it took for Gettysburg to become whole again is engrained throughout the community with the awe-inspiring recognition of faith in the future created following the battle. The resiliency of humankind is ever apparent in the story of leadership in the battle and the legacy of Presidents Lincoln and Eisenhower. The importance of the offensive strategy used to win the Battle of Gettysburg and wars in general is the hallmark of leadership I use as a tool in managing life and work in general.
The primary takeaway from my Gettysburg experience was no matter what encountered professionally or personally, being flexible and resilient creates faith and reassures people to show respect and become engaged in community. This I encourage daily.
To you, I extend an invitation to take time from your hectic schedule to attend the ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute. You will find passion in reigniting the yearning to learn what history offers as the lesson to change lives and communities that all of us strive daily to do. Take it from me, a former ICMA-credentialed local government manager, Gettysburg was the adventure to jump start a local government managed from being considered “status quo” to being “amazing”!