The battlefield is where operational planning, executive decisions, and management on the ground literally mean the difference between life and death for a company or a division.
It is commonplace today to have the maxims of war strategists like Chinese Sun Tzu and Prussian von Clausewitz inform business leadership courses and workshops. But it is the battles of World War II, fought in an environment of Blitzkrieg tactics and whirlwind technological change, that produce the kind of insights into leadership at all levels that is most relevant in today’s unpredictable, high-stakes environment.
As an international professor of war history and a recipient of the General Ridgway Research Grant from the US Army Military History Institute, I offer innovative corporate staff rides of one or several days across the Bastogne battlefield that distil real-life experiences in this pressure-cooker environment into memorable leadership insights.
The iconic World War II town of Bastogne, tucked away between rolling hills and dense forests, is where an American force of some fifteen thousand held out against a vastly superior opponent. Not only did this battered force resist for more than a week: once the siege was lifted, it managed to regroup, taking the battle to the opponent for another three weeks until they accomplished their mission and came back victorious.
A corporate staff ride across the Bastogne battlefield is a unique experience that easily trumps even the most intense course or workshop on leadership.
No offices or cubicles here. Instead, legendary villages and châteaux with vivid lessons on what made generals inspire their troops when all seemed lost and what made lieutenants rally their men when the fire turned murderous.
No course materials and flashing screens here. Instead, forests and foxholes in an historical environment that is truly out of the ordinary and rich with inspiration, allowing you and your colleagues to foster team cohesion in a manner that is both relaxed and purposeful.
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