Ia Drang – Vietnam Program

Offered at various locations

Exploring the United States’ early military involvement in Vietnam, in a remote area along the Cambodian border later called the Forest of the Screaming Souls, leadership in ambiguous and volatile circumstances is brought into clear focus. The decisions and actions of two American commanders and one North Vietnamese commander during the Battle of la Drang in November 1965 are of central importance in illustrating the principles of adaptive leadership, commitment to mission, and individual determination as active forces for leadership effectiveness in a rapidly changing environment.

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Selected Case Studies

  • Joshua Chamberlain
  • Admiral Grace Hopper
  • Sir Earnest Shackleton

Selected Leadership Lessons

  • Distinguishing critical from important–prioritizing decisions and actions
  • Taking initiative in ambiguous or chaotic situations
  • Creating team alignment and a sense of team achievement
  • Monitoring succession readiness and ensuring succession


The standard workshop length is eight hours but can be expanded to 12 hours if needed.  A minimum length of four hours is required, which allows time for the necessary context and overview of the battle and for an in-depth examination of two leadership case studies, along with concluding exercises and comments. Each added case study requires two additional hours of program time.


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