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Lewis & Clark Experience: Leading into an Unknown Future

New Virtual and In-person Learning Opportunities

As business leaders strive to align their teams toward a single, strategic goal, they face a myriad of challenges, many of them unknowns. Planning effectively, overcoming obstacles, managing team dynamics and individual performance, maintaining effective communication…the list is long.

These same leadership challenges were faced and overcome by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they led the 900+-day expedition commissioned by President Jefferson, charged with finding the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean across thousands of miles of uncharted territory. That the Corps of Discovery succeeded is part of American lore; how they succeeded is a master class in leadership.

Impactful leadership lessons from this epic journey have long been part of the Lewis & Clark Experience, an experiential learning program run by FCCS, and are now also available through the new Lewis & Clark Virtual Experience, “A New Way Forward,” and through the expansion of the in-person experience in Stevenson, Washington.

Watch a preview of the Lewis & Clark Virtual Experience.

“The Lewis and Clark expedition overcame unprecedented challenges in an environment of vast uncertainty and even danger,” says Lisa Cavanaugh, Vice President of Leadership Development Experiences at FCCS. “The leadership lessons they learned are directly applicable to today’s business environment and are especially relevant given the disruptions we’ve experienced in the past year and will continue to face.”

More than just delivering the in-person content via webinar, in developing the Lewis & Clark Virtual Experience, FCCS and its highly knowledgeable consultants took a new look at the entire Corps of Discovery expedition to identify important leadership lessons at every stage, starting with President Jefferson’s vision.

“With the on-site program, we focus on the lessons learned at the specific locations we visit, but with the virtual program we were able to look at the entire journey and identify the key lessons for today’s business challenges,” says Sean Murray, founder of RealTime Performance and an Affiliate Consultant of FCCS, who helped design the new virtual program. “We’ve distilled the most important elements of leadership learning from this incredible journey and created a fun and engaging course that supports participants in charting their own paths into their unknown futures.”

Using the Lewis and Clark expedition as the historical backdrop, “A New Way Forward” explores five key elements of successfully building and leading a team into an uncertain future: creating and communicating a compelling vision; building a strong and cohesive team; overcoming obstacles, both seen and unseen; maintaining a high level of adaptive resilience; and proceeding on into a New Way Forward.

Redesigned and led by guides with deep expertise and long-standing interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition – one of whom has even read the one million+ words journaled by team members – “A New Way Forward” brings much of the experience to participants’ homes. The nightly fireside chats are reproduced with period music and a crackling fire video, and the journaling required by President Jefferson is encouraged to help participants process and begin to apply their learnings to their real-world situations.

“This is not ‘just one more Zoom call’ and not just content delivery,” says Jeffrey Ton, President of Ton Enterprises and a key member of the Lewis & Clark Virtual Experience development team. “We’ve created an engaging cadence that combines short content sessions, individual and team exercises, reflection time and even optional time chatting with the guides around our virtual campfire.”

“A New Way Forward” includes a custom-designed digital game that follows the progress of the original expedition, which strengthens the lessons as well as adding an element of fun to the experience. The program development team also developed a variety of tools to support participants’ continued growth after the program to guide their teams and their own careers.

“The crucible that is COVID has underscored both the importance and the applicability of the transformative leadership lessons that literally helped form this country,” says Lisa. “The new Lewis & Clark Virtual Experience leverages technology to bring this experiential learning opportunity to more people by eliminating travel time and expenses.”

For those who prefer an in-person experience, open enrollment is available for “A New Way Forward,” a new Lewis & Clark Experience program based in Stevenson, Washington, where the Corps of Discovery was nearing the end of their outward journey. Beneficial to professionals at any level, from individual contributor to executive leader, “A New Way Forward” highlights visioning, overcoming obstacles and developing resilience. A challenging Tyrolean Traverse team building experience illuminates decision making and practices working under pressure. Reflection and networking time deepen the value of the lessons learned in the classroom and in the field. You can learn more and register for the October program here.

Registration NOW OPEN for the In-person Lewis & Clark Skamania Experience
October 19-21, 2021
Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA
Learn More and Register

Coming Soon: Lewis & Clark Virtual Experience
For more information about the Lewis & Clark Virtual Experience, contact Lisa Cavanaugh at 303.721.3270.

Listen to the Forward Thinking podcast Lewis & Clark episodes:

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