Happenings, Insights, Thought Leadership, Forward Thinking Podcast Episodes
It’s a wise organization that recognizes an effective solution and sticks with it, as Meherrin Ag has demonstrated by sending multiple senior leadership groups to the Gettysburg Leadership Experience (GLE) over the past few years, with another program scheduled for September.
“For us as an organization, the Gettysburg Leadership Experience programs have become a rallying point as we take what we’ve learned and apply it to everyday situations,” says Jim Davis, General Manager of Meherrin’s Ag Division. “We learn something different with each Gettysburg experience, and we still debate certain points and how they apply to our operations and challenges.”
Meherrin Ag, a subsidiary of Meherrin Agricultural and Chemical Company, is a farm input supplier to growers from the Delaware-Maryland Peninsula to Northern Florida. In 2019, the company made major changes to the senior leadership team, including adding new members and others moving to new roles. Once the busy spring season was over, Jim brought the 16 members of the fledgling team to the GLE Signature Leadership Experience, having been given a positive recommendation from a vendor who’d previously attended a program.
“GLE is the best leadership course I’ve ever taken, and our team definitely bonded over the experience,” says Jim. “The presenters and battlefield guides are phenomenal, and we also learned a lot from the other people attending and hearing their perspectives on how the leadership lessons apply in other fields.”
Jim was so impressed with the program that he brought his son to another open enrollment session as a college graduation gift in 2021. Having joined the National Guard in high school and ROTC in college, his son was on track toward his goal of becoming a military officer – he’s now a first lieutenant serving in Germany. Jim decided to support the young man’s leadership development early in his career through GLE, especially as the two share an interest in visiting historic battlefields around the country.
“Even though he’s just starting out in leadership, he got a lot out of the program, though perhaps more foundational knowledge than the lessons a seasoned leader would take from the experience,” says Jim. “Anyone can learn from GLE, whether they manage a lot of people or not.”
Last September, Meherrin sent a group of 16 – 18 junior leaders from multiple departments to GLE, incidentally including one studying to be a Gettysburg guide.
Jim says the group appreciated the opportunity to learn and grow in their leadership skills, and valued the experience. The group will also be attending a follow-up GLE program – “Pursuit, Retreat and Resilience” – this September.
“The focus of the second program is how to approach a situation when things aren’t going your way, how to deal with failure as well as success,” says Jim. “Meherrin has enjoyed a lot of success in our history, but we’re facing a tougher market today, so these lessons are important. I can’t think of a better way to learn them than at the Gettysburg Leadership Experience, and we appreciate our President and CEO Dallas Barnes supporting the financial investment in the Gettysburg program and the ROI
our division has enjoyed as a result.”
For more information on the Gettysburg Leadership Experience, including to sign up for an upcoming open enrollment program, visit our website; to discuss a custom program, contact John Regentin, FCCS Vice President of Experiential Leadership, at 717-752-0495 or via email.