Big, Big Deal

Two weeks ago marked the end of my first Leadership Now Walkshop. It was extraordinary for me, I can say for certain, and for my two attendees, I can say with confidence.

Let me refresh your memory. The Walkshop was about how a large event collides with your plans for life and leadership. The topic was Benjamin Harrison and two key points in his life separated by fifteen months—when he heard about the start of the Civil War in April 1861 and when he decided that he would join the fighting on the Union side in July 1862.

My Walkshop was a 3-part servant and service offering. Part One was in early April when I led two attendees to four different spots in downtown Indianapolis that were key on the day Harrison heard about the Civil War starting. We walked for an hour and then chatted over coffee for another hour. Part Two was a series of fifteen emails that I sent to them between April and July. Each email summarized a month of Harrison’s life, the same month of the Civil War, and my thoughts as to what it meant to Harrison and his life and leadership. Part Three was in early July when the two attendees and myself walked to four spots in downtown Indianapolis, each visited by Harrison on the fateful day when his world totally changed. We walked for an hour and then debriefed over coffee for nearly two hours more.

This experience has affected what I do at Historical Solutions LLC. For one thing, it’s shown the truth of something I suspected—the physical experience of a place in all dimensions transforms one’s learning. To see and hear and touch and feel a point elevates understanding, deepens understanding, and imprints understanding. For another thing, the gap of time from past to present melts away. A life lost can become a life relived.

No doubt I’ll become more aware and attuned to the further ways this experience has affected my approach. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, I’m offering another edition of the Leadership Now Walkshop this fall (2012). I’ll take two, three, or four people in a group. Cost is $400 for the full service or $275 for an abbreviated version.