Leadership Under Fire: Lessons From Flight 93 (EDU 592) is a unique leadership class that provides participants with graduate-level college credits and Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) Act 45 (40 hours), Act 48 (90 hours).


September 11, 2001, not unlike December 7, 1941, is a date that will “. . . live in infamy.”  Hindsight indicates that there were several warnings and numerous indicators that terrorism, both in scope and intensity, was growing and changing.  Nonetheless, the catastrophic events of 9/11 shocked the world and rocked the sensibility of the United States regarding the contemporary realities of global terrorism. 

Because of an unforeseen delay in its departure schedule, the passengers and crew onboard United Fight 93 found themselves in what can only be described as a fatal struggle between good and evil.   Selflessly, they chose to do that which was good and right.  Knowing that their lives were to be sacrificed, they acted to prevent additional loss of life.  By so doing they thwarted plans that could have produced catastrophic worldwide consequences.  One historian concluded that, “The crew and passengers of Flight 93, may well have spared humankind from the impact of a conflict that could easily have become another world war.”

Overview of Topics

Leadership Under Fire:  Lessons From Flight 93 affords participants the opportunity to look at critical events associated with that fateful flight and examine them for the lessons on organizational leadership that they so richly illustrate.  Attention is given to attributes of strong leaders, strategic leadership initiatives, and tactical actions to address strategic planning, meet goals, and fulfill missions. 

Organizational leadership lessons explored during this seminar focus on such topics as:

  • Considering the unimaginable, 
  • Including freewill and the human factor in the calculus of planning,
  • Acting to determine what comes next,
  • Avoiding common protocols in uncommon situations,
  • Enhancing force through integrated communications,
  • Turning chaos into calm,
  • Pursuing the greater good.

Each lesson is tied to a specific element of the historic interpretation resources offered by the Flight 93 National Memorial and the grounds and historic areas of the site.