Washington’s Crossing Leadership Experience

Focusing on the Ten Crucial Days of the American Revolution, the Washington’s Crossing Leadership Experience explores the leadership decisions and actions which drove the outcomes of the Battles of Trenton and Princeton (New Jersey) in December 1776 and January 1777. On the American side, case studies will examine the controversy surrounding Continental leadership in the early phases of the war for independence, successful engineering of the nighttime crossing of the flood-swollen Delaware River on Christmas Eve in the most hostile conditions imaginable, and the commanding general’s quick adaptation to changed circumstances and marshalling of available resources to ensure victory against overwhelming odds. On the British side, participants will see examples of allocating resources against advice based on contempt for enemy capabilities, overtly discounting real time intelligence, and taking the competition for granted.

Leadership dynamics emphasized in the experience will include setting direction and maintaining standards in fluid and ambiguous circumstances, orchestrating efforts efficiently across geographically dispersed units and organizational boundaries, influencing without direct authority, instilling a sense of urgency in executing plans and capitalizing on opportunity, and achieving clarity on roles, responsibilities, and decision-making rights.

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