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January 2011
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President's MessageSteve Wiley

Happy 2011 from Gettysburg! We hope all of you had a happy holiday season, and we send our best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

At this time of year I often find myself both reflecting on the year gone by and anticipating what the new year will bring. It seems to be a great time to develop plans for the future, but it's also important to not lose sight of what we've learned from both our failures and successes of the past year. To that end we've come up with a few questions that leaders can ask themselves to help prepare for the coming year with its celebrations and challenges. As you might have guessed they are based on some of the case studies that you may have experienced with us:

  1. Were we, as an organization, able to position ourselves for strategic advantage? Did we find and hold the "high ground"? What were some "pebbles that became avalanches" either in positive or negative ways?

  2. What were our biggest vulnerabilities this year and how did we "fix bayonets"? Who were the mutineers and were we able to turn them around?

  3. Have we created an environment where individuals at all levels feel that they can "communicate courageously"? How were we at managing disagreements?

  4. Have we effectively employed the GROW model (Goals, Reality, Opportunities or Options, Way Forward) in problem solving situations?

Of course, we can ask ourselves many other questions to help move our organizations forward and assess where we've been. But hopefully these will recall some of your Gettysburg experiences and help you to hone your focus for success in 2011.

This month's issue contains a link to a great video of the more than 300 United States Federal Government Presidential Fellows we hosted in November, information on a new quarter being minted and a great story of a "message in a bottle." Read on to learn more!


Steven B. Wiley, president & founder
The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg


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OPMPresidential Management Fellows Visit Gettysburg

More than 300 Presidential Management Fellows are visiting Gettysburg January 11-13 to experience hands-on leadership development from Steve Wiley and the Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg.

The Fellows' trip to Gettysburg begins a two-year journey in professional and leadership development offered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The Presidential Management Fellows Program was established by Presidential Executive Order in 1977. It attracts to federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of career paths who are committed to excellence in leadership. The program draws these talented people from various academic, social and cultural backgrounds to help meet the future challenges of public service.

Topics that will be covered during the three-day event include humility, flexibility, resilience, strategic thinking, leveraging diversity, team building, communication, accountability and problem solving. The trip to Gettysburg will bring the recently appointed Fellows together to shape their views of leadership, increase their commitment to public service and create camaraderie within the group.

"We are honored to share the responsibility to help with the professional development of these rising stars in the federal government," said Wiley.

Another group of Presidential Management Fellows visited Gettysburg in November. Highlights from that group's trip can be viewed here.

"There was not a question in our minds that we were working with the brightest and the best!" said Wiley of this group.

During their experience, the Fellows visit the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park and several sites on the Gettysburg battlefield.

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U.S. Senate Defeats Bill to Expand GNMP Boundaries

In late December, the U.S. Senate defeated a bill that would have expanded the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park.

The proposed bill expanded the park's boundaries to include the Gettysburg train station and 45 acres of donated land in Cumberland Township. Also included in the bill, consisting of more than 1,000 pages, were other land and recreation measures unrelated to Gettysburg. Learn more about the bill and the future of the train station here.

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Gettysburg College Debuts its Civil War Journal

Gettysburg College's Civil War Institute and the Civil War Era Studies Department have launched a journal featuring undergraduate research in the field of Civil War era-studies. View the premiere issue here.

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Civil War Message in a Bottle Decoded

messageA retired CIA codebreaker has deciphered a 147-year-old Civil War coded message in a bottle.

The message to Confederate Gen. John Pemberton is from a commander and explains that reinforcements aren't available to help in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The exact wording of the coded message is as follows: "You can expect no help from this side of the river." On the day the message was dated—July 4, 1863—Vicksburg fell to Union forces.

The message is a part of the Richmond, Virginia-based Museum of the Confederacy's collection. Read more about the message here.

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Gettysburg Quarter Launches January 25

QuarterThe launch of the new Gettysburg quarter will be celebrated at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center at 11 a.m. on January 25. The event will feature live music, guest speakers and a specially designed cake featuring the quarter itself.

The celebration, co-hosted by Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP) and the Gettysburg Foundation, will include GNMP Superintendent Bob Kirby, Gettysburg Foundation Vice Chair Barbara Finfrock, Acting Director of the United States Mint Andrew Brunhart, the United States Mint mascot Peter the Mint Eagle, students from Gettysburg's Lincoln Elementary School, Girl Scouts, a Civil War honor guard and other special guests.

"We are very happy to be honored with this beautiful new quarter," said Kirby. "The coin can be a daily reminder of the sacrifices made at Gettysburg and a great way to start a conversation about national parks, national heritage and the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War."

At the conclusion of the event, there will be a cash-only coin exchange in which visitors can purchase rolls of newly minted Gettysburg quarters bearing the design that honors the park. The quarters will be exchanged at face value, with a one-roll minimum, for $10 and a ten-roll maximum worth $100.

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Lincoln Quiz

Do you know the name of Abraham Lincoln's dog? His height? What he kept in his hat? Test your knowledge by taking a quiz devoted to the 16th president's life, offered by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Copyright 2011, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg