Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bringing the Battle of Gettysburg to You (Part 1 - John Buford at Gettysburg)

Recently, senior wildland fire leaders participated in the L-580, Leadership is Action - Gettysburg Staff Ride. L-580, Leadership in Action is a continuing education opportunity. The intent is to foster exchange of knowledge and experience in the art of leading during high-risk and complex incidents. For more information about L-580 visit
The Washington Post's "On Leadership blog has some great videos presented by Ed Ruggero who runs the Gettysburg Leadership Experience, "where executives travel to the battlefied of Gettysburg, and we use history to talk about leadership in modern organizations." A glimpse at these videos may provide insight to our L-580, Leadership is Action - Gettysburg Staff Ride.

The first video I suggest you view is titled "On Leadership at Gettysburg: 'Find those Confederate forces'." Ruggero's video addresses General John Buford's leadership at Gettysburg.

A transcript of the video is also available on the site where past L-580 Gettysburg participants can partake in an online discussion regarding Buford's leadership. Ruggero poses the following questions around leadership:
  • What do you do to encourage your junior leaders to act and make decisions when they find themselves without specific guidance? How do they know they're supposed to take charge?
  • Tell us about when you learned that, as a leader, you were getting paid to come up with solutions on your own instead of always asking for guidance.
  • Sometimes junior leaders make decisions that backfire. What do you do to help people recover from failure and learn from their mistakes?
  • There is plenty of evidence to suggest that failure makes for a great teaching moment. Tell us about a failure you experienced or witnessed and how it became an important lesson.
Stay tuned for Part 2!

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