Pearl Harbor Leadership Experience

Honolulu, Hawaii

December 7, 1941—a date that lives in infamy—is a provocative source of leadership insight directly applicable to the challenges and opportunities of today’s global business environment. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor left the US Pacific Fleet shattered and brought the United States into World War II. Looking at the attack from both the Japanese and American perspectives, we will examine how planning, organization, communication, teamwork, initiative, and—most importantly—leadership are as critical to execution now as they were in 1941.

As the team explores Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, participants will gain keen awareness of the importance of building cohesive teams, evaluating the competition, leading in the midst of chaos, meeting challenging objectives with limited resources, and turning gambles into manageable risks. The leadership principles and concepts presented through the Pearl Harbor Leadership Experience can be tailored to meet the needs of senior executives or rising leaders within an organization.

Key Leadership Lessons:

Gambles into Managing RiskInfluencing without ResourcesKnowing the Competition
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Selected Case Studies

  • Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
  • Lieutenant Lawrence Ruff
  • Vice Admiral Charles Lockwood

Key Leadership Lessons

  • Creating organizational cohesion among disparately oriented teams and forging aligned action plans
  • The potential dysfunctions of a cross-functional team
  • Empowerment, effective delegation, and building a high performing team
  • Adaptive leadership and organizational agility


The Pearl Harbor Leadership Experience is a two-day program delivered over three days. The evening of day one begins with a strategic overview and dinner, followed by the next day on the battlegrounds with an after-action-review (AAR) in the late afternoon back at the hotel, and the morning of day three on the battlefield with a working lunch and final AAR back at the hotel. Customization is possible. 


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