Experiential Leadership Learning: 7 Reasons Today’s Corporations Should Look to Historic Battlefields as their Classrooms

John Fenzel Experiential Leadership Learning Gettysburg Battlefield Tour

Experiential leadership learning on Historic Battlefields like Gettysburg National Military Park, offer the flexible, on-the-go learning team members crave and the leadership lessons employers are seeking to provide.

What Is Experiential Learning?

Unlike traditional learning methods with the trainer playing an active role while the learner is passive, experiential leadership learning enables team members to participate and play an active role in learning–which leads to better retention and application. Confucius had it right when he said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” 

Experiential learning includes techniques that include simulating a real-world situation, then reflecting on what happened. Understanding critical decision-making and problem-solving are, at once, the goal and the end result. This approach is best applied when team members from different departments or groups are brought together and interact together. This approach to learning has a number of real advantages, including employing multiple senses and emotional connections when training. That, in turn, leads to create stronger, more meaningful memories–and relevance.

Why Experiential Leadership Learning on our Historical Battlefields?

Battlefield Leadership Training not only offers an exceptional experiential learning opportunity for team members, it also offers a unique historical lens through which the most complex and difficult challenges can be examined. Battlefield and historic on-site leadership experiences guide us on the personal journeys of our nation’s greatest leaders. Many of these leaders are little known, but through their own extraordinary, inspirational examples, they are role models we can never forget.

7 Reasons Why Experiential Leadership Learning Has Proven Results.

1.Accelerates Learning
‘Learning by Doing’ fully incorporates critical thinking, problem solving and critical decision-making. More and more, this approach has become recognized as an proven method to accelerate learning.

2. Provides a Safe Learning Environment
Simulations use real life situations that depict challenges, that team members will eventually apply to their own circumstances after the course completion. This approach, applied to building teams and developing leaders, is nothing new. As parents, we take kids to a playground, allow them to have fun, experience new things and learn–in an enjoyable, safe, controlled environment.

3. Bridges the Gap Between Theory and Practice
By moving beyond the theory of leadership to actually experiencing it on our nation’s historic battlefields, team members get a first hand experience of practicing what’s been taught.  This plays a crucial role in retaining concepts and ideas.

4. Produces Significant Mindset Changes
There are very few learning methods that can have a dramatic impact on an employees mindset. Experiential Learning is one of them. Management guru Henry Mintzberg pointed out long ago that, “Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it.”

5. Increases Engagement Levels
Experiential learning involves collaboration and learning from one another. Combined with the Socratic method, experiential learning is an natural way to increase employee engagement.

6. Delivers Exceptional Return on Investment (ROI)
Experiential learning is personal and effective, influencing both feelings and emotions as well as enhancing knowledge and skills. It goes beyond classroom learning and ensures a high level of retention–ultimately delivering exceptional ROI compared to traditional learning program.

7. Enables Personalized Learning
Experiential learning enables the individual employee to travel through the journey of assessing, processing, and applying at their own pace. Experiential learning is a radical departure from traditional professional development methods by taking learning beyond the classroom.

An Experiential Learning Leadership Experience: The Battle of Gettysburg

If your organization is seeking a truly transformative leadership development experience and an innovative alternative to the traditional executive offsite, the Battle of Gettysburg Leadership Seminar and Tour will meet all of your team’s objectives. 

During the first three days in July 1863, two great armies engaged in the most violent collision the North American continent has ever seen.  The Battle of Gettysburg is often described as a turning point in our history, and it is also, arguably, the greatest man-made disaster our nation has ever experienced.

Today, the lessons from that battle are very much alive, and directly relevant to anyone who is interested in improving their own capabilities, both as a leader and as a follower.  Through a fully interactive experiential leadership experience and tour of the battlefield, John will actively involve each of your team members as if they were there.  The Gettysburg Battlefield Leadership Tour is an unforgettable experience that will empower your team members to meet challenges, adapt to change, communicate effectively, and solve complex problems.

Interested in learning more about Leadership Lessons from Gettysburg? Contact us today!

About John Fenzel

John Fenzel, Keynote Speaker, Author, and Historian

As a retired senior Army Special Forces Officer (Green Beret) and author of three acclaimed novels, John shares his experiences from the West Wing of the White House and the E-Ring of the Pentagon, to the many war zones he has operated in around the world. John relates the power of humanity in the face of searing conflict; of friendship in the wake of crisis; overcoming adversity; and the enormous value of storytelling, its lost art, and the tremendous importance it holds for leaders and for future generations alike.

Whether he is delivering a Keynote or a seminar, John is always bold, thoughtful and dynamic in his presentation. With high takeaway quality, and punctuated with personal stories that extend from the White House Situation Room to conflict zones in the Middle East, his message is powerful, entertaining, and is always delivered eloquently—with the kind of high energy, humor, and passion that everyone in attendance will remember for years to come.

John lives with his wife and three children in Annapolis, MD. John is the author of three acclaimed novels, The Lazarus Covenant (2009), The Sterling Forest (2016) and The Fifth Column (2018).   For more information on John and his leadership development keynote lectures and battlefield tours visit his website at www.johnfenzel.com.



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