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news and notes
July 2009
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President's MessageSteve Wiley and Angela Sontheimer

The summer is off to a great start here at LLI. We have enjoyed hosting several more Ohio-based teams from Pfizer and welcomed Benco Dental, members of the Inspector General community, and a team from the Office of Personal Management in our leadership program this month.

This month also marks the graduation of our Managing Director, Angela Sontheimer, from Duquesne University. Angela now holds a Masters of Leadership and Liberal Studies. Her thesis focused on viewing the Gettysburg Address through a modern coaching model to show how it functioned as a problem solving document for Lincoln and how it continues to serve as a seminal document that our nation calls upon in times of crisis or stress. We’ve incorporated some of her research into our program and have been having great success with participants using this simple yet effective coaching model in their own leadership practice.

Don’t forget to log our blog at http://blog.lincolnleadershipinstitute.com/. We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Best regards, Steven B. Wiley

As always, send your comments and ideas to our managing director, Angela Sontheimer, at angela@lincolnleadershipinstitute.com.

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Post Gazette

In a July 3 feature article entitled, "When the CEO called, I had to say no," Steven B. Wiley wrote a first person piece about the power of staying authentic when it comes to selling yourself.

Steve explained: I received a call out of the blue from a meeting planner for a very large and well-known company. “We’re looking for a keynote speaker for our annual meeting,” she said. “Could you send me some background information?” My company conducts leadership training, and I knew that a speaking engagement could open the door to many more opportunities. I had plenty of testimonials. But I knew from experience that they were just the beginning. This sale – like every sale – was all about trust. Selecting a speaker is a high-risk proposition. If you choose well, everybody remembers the speaker, not the person who hired him. But if the speaker misses the mark, everybody asks, “Who picked that guy?”

Click here to read the entire article.

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Upcoming Film Looks at Historic March to Gettysburg

Pride, Honor, Dedication & Sore Feet

History and Civil War fans won’t want to miss “Pride, Honor, Dedication & Sore Feet: 120 Miles to Gettysburg,” a new documentary by Illinois filmmakers Phil Cathoir and Logan Akers. Their film offers a unique look at the Union Army’s 120-mile march — from Fairfax, VA to Gettysburg — from a re-enactor’s point of view.

Cathoir and Akers followed a group of re-enactors along the entirety of the VI Corps’ route, capturing them hanging out around the campfire and interacting with soldiers who would stop to talk with them. Talking about the history of the march and the battle was an essential part of the experience and Cathoir calls it a “very human aspect of reenacting.” An event in itself, the filming was done in the heat of July to coincide with the 145th anniversary of the battle.

The documentary is currently being shown at small film festivals around the U.S., and the filmmakers are hopeful a distribution company will pick it up.

Watch the trailer on YouTube

Lincoln Leadership Institute announces exciting Google Earth tour

Google Earth

The Lincoln Leadership Institute is pleased to announce a new addition to its collection of transformational tours: a Google Earth tour of the Battle of Gettysburg. Built in conjunction with Matthew Pinsker of Dickinson College, the LLI's Google Earth tour combines the latest in digital technology with Gettysburg's transformational characteristics.

“For those not familiar with this computer program, Google Earth is an amazing piece of software that allows users to explore all of the world's geographic and cultural places from the comfort of their home or office,” Pinsker says. “Using satellite images, geographic references, and resources from across the Internet, Google Earth can fly users to anywhere on the planet, from the most majestic sites to their own home in what can be a truly amazing experience.”

Steve Wiley says he is thrilled to incorporate this high-tech tool into the powerful history lessons he provides to the leaders who attend the Transformational Journeys from Gettysburg program.

“What I love most about this is that the Google Earth tour utilizes cutting-edge technology in a way that will give our clients a unique look at the Battle of Gettysburg,” Wiley explains. “It is another example of how we are “skating to where the puck will be”, which is one of the lessons we teach others at the Lincoln Leadership Institute.”

Faculty profile: Battlefield Guide Robert H. Prosperi

Bob Prosperi

Bob Prosperi is one of the foremost experts on the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a US Army veteran, he served for 17 years as one of the two historians at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

During this time he served as a personal tour guide and battlefield escort for numerous dignitaries and celebrities. He had the distinct privilege of providing a personal tour for Presidents Carter and Sadat and Prime Minister Begin during the Camp David Summit.

What was his favorite memory of that Camp David tour?

“Aside from studying history I also had a major in International Relations, so as the Camp David negotiations began, I followed the events like a kid following the World Series,” he says. “I knew the issues, I knew who all the players were, and every day I read summaries of their progress just like fans read box scores. A peace treaty between Israel and an Arab nation was unprecedented and it looked like these three could make it happen.”

As history has shown, they certainly did. But then, having the lessons learned from the Battle of Gettysburg live on, definitely resonates with Prosperi.

“I grew up in an Army family and served in the Army myself, and I have always been interested in the things soldiers do,” he shares. “There are so many personal accounts by participants that, after reading hundreds of them, one almost comes to feel as if he knows these soldiers personally. I was drawn into sharing their joys and their horrors.  Along the way, I have also become enthralled in the history of the battlefield and the late-19th century American culture that created it.”

Being in the center of history is important to Prosperi, who has visited Paris, Normandy, Verdun and Waterloo. The next stop on his travel itinerary is the Acropolis in Greece. “It is the cradle from which all Western culture has grown, and I’d love to visit.”


Copyright 2009, The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg