Institute Overview

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln


Even before the 2016 presidential election, executives in the health and human service field had to face their fair share of uncertainty. Times of turbulence and uncertainty require strong leadership, strategic partnerships, and careful planning. President Abraham Lincoln knew the value of planning and preparation, regardless of the task ahead – famously, he once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

So how do health and human service organizations ensure that they are prepared to lead their organization in an increasingly uncertain market landscape? The answer to that question is the focus of The 2017 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Retreat.

The retreat is designed to develop the leadership skills executives need to build sustainable organizations in a time of change and collaboration. Historic Gettysburg serves as the backdrop for this immersive retreat, which is designed to develop current and emerging leaders who are prepared for the challenges of a changing health and human service field through our synthesis of five key areas of leadership development:

  1. Meta-leadership skills to make “the deals” that create competitive advantage and sustainability
  2. Transformational leadership skills for success with organizational change
  3. Transactional leadership skills to ensure effective operations
  4. Ethical leadership perspectives needed in serving vulnerable populations
  5. Personal leadership development designed to build “executive athletes” who can withstand and thrive on the challenges ahead

What makes this leadership retreat unique?


A balance of learning, inspiration, networking, and fun.

A flexible program with a wide range of educational, experiential, historical and cultural experiences.

A historically significant setting – the conflict at Gettysburg has been referred to as the turning point of the Civil War, but it is now a symbol of the deep divide in American culture and politics.

All together within a picturesque setting that inspires “big thinking” about the “big issues” that are shaping the future of health and human services.

Join us for this inimitable retreat experience in historic Gettysburg for the opportunity to learn from other leaders, strengthen your leadership skills, and prepare for the personal demands of leadership!

Reserve your seat today!