Medal of Honor Leadership Values at the Forefront of Collaboration

The metal of honor team
The National Medal of Honor Center for Leadership’s mission is to be a custodian of the values of the Medal of Honor, teaching new generations of leaders how to apply these values to their everyday lives. It was only natural for the Center for Leadership to join the first-ever National Medal of Honor Summit in Washington D.C. in late March to discuss collaboration and promotion of these pivotal values.

Uniting for Values-Based Leadership Education

Center for Leadership President & CEO Thomas Mundell joined nearly 30 other nonprofit leaders in the Medal of Honor community at the event held in the historic and ornate Nancy Pelosi Caucus Room at the Cannon House Office Building. Convened by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the Summit attracted leaders from museums, monuments and memorials, education and leadership institutions, military organizations, foundations, and the National Park Service. They heard from Medal of Honor Recipients and discussed how they can share resources and better connect with each other and the Society to amplify the importance of the Medal.

“This was a monumental day for all those who care about the Medal of Honor,” Mundell said. “The spirit of camaraderie experienced by the groups in attendance was similar to that shown by the actual Recipients themselves. We each have our specific roles to play, but I can think of no other that is as critical as educating the business and nonprofit leaders of tomorrow with the values of America’s greatest heroes. Now, the work begins.”

During his presentation, Mundell outlined the Center for Leadership’s plans to develop a unique digital platform for values-based leadership education that will meet corporate and nonprofit leaders where they are with low-pressure interactive programs that explore, practice, and refine the skills associated with the six core values of the Medal of Honor: courage, integrity, commitment, sacrifice, citizenship, and patriotism.

Innovating Leadership Training at Patriots Point

The learning platform is under the direction of Dr. Justin Habash, director of education and leadership programs at the Center and the assistant dean for teaching and learning at the Carey Business School at John Hopkins University. The curriculum will be offered online and through a variety of programs aimed at mid-career professionals in business and nonprofits, as well as college students.

The Center is also raising money to fund a $75 million, 50,000 sq. feet Patriots Point Leadership Conference Center at Mount Pleasant, SC, near the USS Yorktown, home to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

“I talk to many groups across the country about our plans to create a national values-driven leadership program, and I’m often struck by the hunger people have, at all levels, for a more values-driven society,” Mundell said. “As Americans, we disagree about a lot of things – and that’s OK – but most of us do agree on the importance of these values as binding forces to keep us together on the essential things.

A poll conducted by Ipsos for the Medal of Honor Foundation in 2023 found that

79% of Americans believe strong values and character are important

71% believe that society doesn’t emphasize values enough.

The poll underscores how our mission is more important than ever,” said Medal of Honor Recipient Ryan Pitts. “This is not about politics. This is about the strength of our nation.”

Britt Slabinski, a fellow recipient and president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, said the Summit was “the start of a Medal of Honor eco-system. We are striving towards one goal – the projection of the values that built our country.”

At the end of the Summit, Slabinski presented each participant with a commemorative wooden paddle with the theme for the gathering – “Honor the Sacrifice – Inspire the Future” – inscribed on it. The idea came from a Navy SEALs and Marine Corps tradition and symbolizes the need for all to be paddling together.

If you take this paddle, you’re entering into a covenant with all of us – that you are part of this team,” he said. “We’re now on the same team, rowing in the same direction, and we will do our damnedest to accomplish the mission.”