Little Bighorn Leadership Experience

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also called Custer’s Last Stand, occurred over two days in June 1876 near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana. The stunning victory of the combined forces of the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne tribes against the 7th Cavalry of the US Army was the most famous battle of all of the Indian Wars. The US cavalry detachment lost every soldier in the unit through a combination of circumstances in which their Native American opposition was underestimated due to the convergence of overconfidence, exaggerated urgency, and inadequate assessment. The story and its lessons provide a platform from which to understand leadership principles important in today’s hyper-competitive business environment, such as hubris based on success, the importance of adequate competitive intelligence, the benefit of strong intra-unit relationships and trust, effective communication, and the need for focused decision-making under pressure in a highly fluid situation.

The program emphasizes and examines leadership through the lens of both the Native American and 7th Cavalry perspectives on the situation, featuring the participation of direct descendants of Native American tribal leaders who fought at the Little Bighorn. The role of rapid decision-making under intense pressure in the face of unexpected circumstances will provide a powerful backdrop on haunting terrain for an examination of the aspects of leadership that affect the ultimate success of the mission far beyond the mere force of the leader’s character and style.

Who Should Attend

The leadership training principles and concepts presented through the Little Bighorn Leadership Experience can be tailored to meet the needs of the highest level senior leaders to the less-experienced yet rising leaders within an organization. The Little Bighorn experience explores universal leadership themes which any leader will find beneficial to his or her career growth and/or organizational aspirations.

Though the onsite Little Bighorn Leadership Experience is generally restricted to the months of mid-May through late June or September through mid-October due to weather and crowd considerations, the classroom Little Bighorn experience can be delivered year-round.