Do you wonder what history has to teach us about leadership? Have you heard about the Gettysburg battle during the Civil War, but want to know more? Have you ever wondered about the role of leadership during the Civil War and Gettysburg? Do you want more tangible leadership tools for the 21st Century? Our special guest Jack Carroll will answer all of these questions and more, and he’s here to remind us that history is not only more than memorized dates and facts, but it’s a rich source of leadership lessons to lead with today.

Jack Carroll was a CEO for more than 25 years in the marketing and advertising field, specializing in brand development. Today, Jack is the Founder of Battle Ready Leadership and works with high-level executives, mid-level managers and corporate teams on leadership initiatives, strategic thinking and communications programs to help them position themselves for success. Battle Ready Leadership delivers on-site training and presentations combining proven business strategies with military tactics for a truly unique and memorable experience. They also deliver training and team building Leadership Summits in Gettysburg where attendees have an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of some of the nation’s legendary leaders.

The Impact Leadership Podcast is brought to you by Cardivera, the leadership development eco-system that helps your grow your people, grow your business and grow your life.

Show Notes

In this episode you’ll learn…

  • The historical story, context and significance of Gettysburg
  • The importance of adaptive leadership, including recognizing and adjusting for your different leaders and team members
  • Understanding when your leadership and communication can be discretionary and when they need to be more directive
  • The dichotomy of leadership successes and failures at Gettysburg
  • The many Gettysburg leadership lessons that are still relevant today
  • Understanding the difference between discretionary directives and non-discretionary directives (and why the difference matters)
  • The role of trust in determining the ways you lead (and communicate with) different team members
  • The leadership of General George Meade (Union) and General Robert E. Lee (Confederate)
  • The importance of empowering your leaders and managers, especially in the midst of change or crisis
  • Many great leadership lessons in clear and simple communication
  • The role of commander’s (leader’s) intent in the past and today
  • The importance for a leader to set clear expectations with the rest of his team
  • Different ways to lead when there’s a change in leadership (e.g. change everything or predominantly keep the status quo intact)
  • The importance of an empowering why to overcome adversity
  • People will “go to war” for leaders they believe in
  • Great leaders build teams that depend on each other, look out for each other and have each other’s backs
  • Ways that leaders build followership
    • Lead from the front
    • Willingness to do what you’re asking others to do
  • The endearing leadership lessons from Gettysburg
  • Why Robert E. Lee was beloved as a leader – honesty and empathy
    • Lee had unwavering confidence in his troops
    • Lee proactively staying connected to his troops (spent time around and with them … he was not separated from them)
    • People want to be inspired and Lee inspired his troops through his actions and presence
  • The leadership of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (“Soul of the Lion, Heart of the Woman”)
    • Great communicator
    • Built great trust despite critical situations
    • Calm during crisis
    • Mindset of getting things done and overcoming obstacles (“do it”)
    • Chamberlain’s humility and empathy at the surrender of Lee’s Confederate Army
  • Leadership is about empathy, vulnerability, honesty and trust even during the Civil War
  • Leadership lessons from the movie Patton (loving and believing in your team and the team believing in their leader)


Special Guest

Jack Carroll

CEO of Battle Ready Leadership

Your Hosts

Jeff Nischwitz

Author, speaker, coach, consultant, and
Chief SHIFT Officer of Cardivera

Craig Mathews

Strategist, innovator, consultant, and
CEO of Cardivera