Leadership Louisville took us “outside our comfort zones” by providing a team-building retreat at Fort Knox. We did not know what to expect—would this be ropes courses, trust falls, and getting dirty? Would we be yelled at to help us become better leaders? We loaded onto the very comfortable bus with our perceptions. They were dashed as we entered the building and provided an insightful look in how the military depends on each other in life or death situations. We then heard from Major General Snow, who took time out of his busy schedule to tell us about his leadership style.
From there it was to the agility courses where we worked together to find solutions. As we attempted to navigate each pillar with boards that were too short we learned something. We found out that we could succeed with limited resources and that, more importantly, we could (or had to) depend on our fellow teammates to “get the job done.” Our community was further strengthened as we tore into MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). All through the process the Fort command arranged for a team of Captains to be with us. They guided us, mentored us through the course, and even shared their knives with us to open the MRE’s!
Our last journey was to the “Sabre and Quill” where we enjoyed excellent food and libations while debriefing with our military counterparts. We came to appreciate their service and sacrifice as well as how they depend on each other. We, too, came to depend on each other and grow as a team. I am extremely grateful to all who gave their time that day to help us succeed and reflect. I am also thankful to the Leadership Louisville staff who make sure we are always well-cared for and comfortable. They even provided hand warmers! We learned that sometimes a leader sacrifices her (or himself) for the sake of the team and that the mission is only complete when everyone gives input and provides expertise. These are lessons that will carry me not only professionally but in life.