The Battle of Franklin Trust announced on Tuesday the launch of an immersive executive leadership development workshop that helps business executives and corporate groups examine their own leadership skills by focusing on decisions made before, during and after one of the most critical conflicts in the Civil War.
The Battle of Franklin Leadership Experience, brings participants to actual locations in Franklin that were important to the historic battle and demonstrate how lessons learned long ago are applicable to business challenges executives face today. Some of the leadership issues addressed in the workshop include change management, strategic thinking, communication, innovation, crisis management and inspirational leadership.
“The Battle of Franklin is without question one of the most important conflicts in our nation’s history,” said Eric Jacobson, author, historian and chief executive officer of the Battle of Franklin Trust. “The lessons learned in late November 1864 still echo in the fields and the homes of Franklin. They are lessons of courage, compassion, chivalry and daring, but also of loss, confusion, fear and panic. They are lessons that inform our lives today, and serve as the foundation of The Battle of Franklin Leadership Experience workshop.”
The Trust conducted its inaugural workshop last week with MEDHOST, Inc., a provider of market-leading enterprise, departmental and healthcare engagement solutions nationwide. Civil War historians and professors from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management led the session.
“Most of us learn about key business principles by reading a textbook or sitting in a classroom. It is an entirely different experience to stand on a battlefield and live the leadership lessons of history where they occurred,” said Tom Mitchell, VP of Marketing for MEDHOST. “Our operations team was captivated not only by the incredible sights they saw and stories they heard, but also by the many parallels between the critical decisions that were made at the Battle of Franklin and those that we make in our business each day.”
The Battle of Franklin was one of the last decisive conflicts of the Civil War. On November 30, 1864 five of the bloodiest hours in the Civil War took place in Williamson County, TN. The number of Americans killed at Franklin is similar in number to those killed at Omaha Beach during WWII’s Normandy invasion.
“Our city’s story is well known by Civil War historians,” said Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor of Franklin. “The Battle of Franklin Leadership Experience extends that story beyond the history books and makes it relevant to today. This workshop is a wonderful, hands-on opportunity for business leaders to translate yesterday’s history into business success today.”
The Battle of Franklin Leadership Experience can be conducted in one or two day sessions. It involves two distinct segments:
• Battlefield experience – Participants are transported back to November 30, 1864 by travelling to the exact locations where some of the battle’s critical leadership decisions were made, including Winstead Hill, The Carter House and Carnton Plantation. Accompanying the group are Civil War historians who describe in detail the Union, Confederate and civilian leaders who made critical decisions and how those decisions, in some cases, changed the course of history. Through the workshop, participants see how the challenges faced 150 years ago are in fact very similar to the leadership/management issues of today.
- Classroom deeper dive – Participants have the opportunity to examine their own leadership skills through a discussion led by experts in any number of traditional management education topics, including strategy, managing change, innovation, communication and inspirational leadership .
“We believe that workshops like these can serve as a powerful management education tool that provides today’s business leaders with leadership development experience that results in positive change,” said Dean Eric Johnson of Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
Williamson County Chamber of Commerce President Matt Largen added, “Companies in Middle Tennessee have a wonderful employee development asset right in their own backyard. This workshop demonstrates how the history of our community is one of many resources available to growing businesses here in Williamson County.”