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For the third consecutive year, Leadership Montana recently brought together two groups on opposite sides of a polarizing issue for a vigorous discussion. The American Prairie Reserve and United Property Owners of Montana sat down together in Lewistown as part of our flagship session in January. 
Many across the state have observed this issue for several years and recognized deep divides forming around it. Over the years, I watched more and more Montanans become aware of the growing controversy and those deep divisions became more and more evident. Helping these two groups come together talk about their differences has been something that I have been incredibly proud to see Leadership Montana lead and I have personally found great value in facilitating.
An important element of this work is the willingness of each side to get curious with the other. It seems so much easier to just lean away from conflict, but if we want to change our engagement right now, we must remember that leaning into conflict with curiosity, gives us a better chance to understand more than when we hold firm to our certainty.
Conflict surrounds us every day. We face differences that when left unexplored, can easily grow into deep division leaving the very fabric of our society frayed. Sometimes I fear that these frayed edges of our society are beyond mending. Other times, I watch as people engage deeply in seeking to understand difference, using curiosity, and suspending certainty. These times give me hope for our future.

Meeting conflict with curiosity is hard, I know. It’s hard for me every day and yet I know that I am my best self when I use what Leadership Montana has taught me – what you have taught me – about embracing difference, slowing down to engage more closely in conversations, and leaning hard into three very simple words: Tell me more

Be well and lead well,

Chantel M. Schieffer
President & CEO
Class of 2010, Masters 2019

Are you in need of Connection?
Are you ready to gather with other LMT Alumni to practice Gracious Space?

Then maybe you should join us in Red Lodge March 13-15, 2022 for The Confluence.
Below are some quotes from attendees to the last Confluence on why you should attend:

"The Confluence provides an experience to listen and learn alongside others who care deeply about our state and want to work together to make it a better place. You will most definitely learn something, you will meet new friends, and you will have tangible things to incorporate into your life and work."
"It's a perfect way to (re)orient to the principles of Gracious Space and to practice them.  The practice is important and enables us to go home as more skilled leaders."
"There is so much good that comes from a LM session and that I walk away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated."
"The opportunity to make and continue connections.  Live and in person learning."

Registration is open now. 
PREVIEW The Confluence Agenda
REGISTER for The Confluence in Red Lodge
Leadership Montana is exploring opportunities to create leadership development programming for the youth of Montana and we need your opinion.

In this quick survey, you have an opportunity to share with us what you see as a need for youth leadership development programs in our state. Thank you for sharing your perspectives as we begin this very early stage of exploration.
TAKE the survey
Dear Alumni of Leadership Montana,
It’s time to renew your annual alumni dues for membership of Leadership Montana. As Active Alumni, you are demonstrating that Montana deserves great leaders. Active Alumni enjoy the benefits of connections, unique gatherings, and exclusive discounts that support statewide unification and strong leadership.

Now is the time for Leadership Montana alumni to renew our commitment to building a better Montana.

Thank you to the 139 Alumni that have already paid their 2022 Active Alumni Dues.  Class of 2022 - you are considered Active as members of the Class of 2022. 

Leadership Montana is growing and expanding our offerings to include thirteen unique and innovative programs designed to help leaders work better together for the advancement of Montana. Your investment in Leadership Montana through alumni dues helps us to continue to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities for learning and connection.

This past year, we hosted fifty-seven virtual and in-person Leadership Montana Alumni events. From the Confluence to the Women’s and Men’s Leadership Forums, these events enhance your Leadership Montana learning and development experience. Active Alumni receive exclusive opportunity to register early for our most popular events – an important benefit, as these events often sell out quickly. Active Alumni also receive member discounts to these special events.

Nearly 800 professionals in communities across Montana have benefited from the Leadership Montana Experience.  As Active Alumni, you ensure this opportunity extends well into the future.
Join fellow LMT Alumni in supporting and sustaining quality leadership development programs for Montana, programming that enables us to listen to one another, generate new ideas and solutions, and thrive in the Last Best Place.  

Please click on this link for the Alumni Dues Invoice and summary of the benefits of Active Alumni membership. If you choose to renew your annual membership online in the Alumni Portal, you have the option to select auto-renewal for the following year. Auto-renewals are processed in January.

Click Here to Renew your Dues Online:

If you choose to renew your membership online, you can also update your Profile in the Alumni Portal.
Thank you for your support and your leadership in Montana.
Listen, Learn, Lead
Barb Cestero, LMT Class of 2015, Masters 2020
Chair - Alumni Committee
Roald Aageson, LMT Class of 2021
Vice-Chair – Alumni Committee
Jen Davis, LMT Class of 2009
Vice President and Alumni Director
Leadership Montana
RENEW your membership

Get your tickets today! Celebrate Montana will be held June 2 - 3, 2022. 

Join with Leadership Montana graduating Flagship Class members, Masters Class graduates, esteemed alumni, and honored guests as we together Celebrate Montana. 

Evening activities will include Montana-inspired cuisine, an auction benefiting Leadership Montana, and the presentation of the Tom Scott Excellence in Leadership Award, Barbara Braided Hair Alumni Leadership Award, and The Mike O’Neill Alumni Service Award

The special event has become one of the highlights of the year as we gather to celebrate our participants, alumni, founders, and the great state we call home. 

Thursday, June 2, 2022 6:00 PM The Elm 506 North 7th Bozeman with Recreational activities and Connection June 3, 2022 including Class breakfast, fishing, golf, and more...

GET your tickets today!
Applications for the Masters Class of 2022 - 2023 open on January 1, 2022. 

“The best leaders turned out to be the best learners…Learning is the master skill. When you fully engage in learning – when you throw yourself whole-heartedly into experimenting, reflecting, reading, or being coached – you will experience the thrill of improvement and the taste of success.” J. Kouzes and B. Posner

Upon graduation from Leadership Montana, alumni are invited to continue their leadership journey through the Masters Class. Established in 2017, the Masters Class is a shorter and smaller class experience allowing participants to dive deeper into their own leadership journey. The Masters Class was born out of requests from Alumni for an additional in-depth experience to continue their leadership journey.

The Masters Class experience will build on the Leadership Montana experience by digging deeper into leadership development, Gracious Space, and community issues.

The Masters Class may be right for you if you're looking for ways to:
  • build collaboration, teamwork, and trust
  • strengthen the ability of others to excel
  • experiment with innovative ideas and learn from accompanying mistakes
  • inspire others to share a common vision
  • clarify and communicate your fundamental values and beliefs
  • increase your personal capacity for courageous collaboration
  • learn an approach for embracing vulnerability and reality

The Masters Class is a 4 session experience. The class is limited to 24 participants.
Tuition is $3,000, limited scholarships are available. 

Session 1: November 2 - 4, 2022 Paradise Valley
Session 2: February 8 - 10, 2023 Helena
Session 3: May 10 - 12, 2023 Havre
Graduation and Celebrate Montana Dinner: June 1 - 2, 2023
LEARN more about the Masters Class
APPLY for the Masters Class
Our two popular LMT Live virtual series have returned. While we have started to meet together in person, there are still benefits to LMT Live virtual connections. You can get a little bit of LMT learning each month without a long drive, registration fees, or extended time out of the office. We know that good leadership takes a lot of practice, here is a chance to put a monthly practice on your calendar. Registration for these virtual events is open now.

LMT Live events are open to the public and LMT Alumni. Share an LMT Live invitation with a friend or colleague you think would benefit from a taste of Leadership Montana. 

March 9, 2022, at 10:00 - 11:30 am – LMT Live: Leading through Change with LMT Lead Trainer, Dr. Jerry Evans.

April 12, 2022 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm - Save the Date -LMT's new Indigi-Talks: During this series we will discuss topics related to Indigenous history, culture, and opportunity. We will hear from Indigenous leaders across Montana.  This is an opportunity to talk about race, culture, and community. Not just talk about it, but learn, grow and engage in positive change in Montana. 

May 19, 2022  at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm. LMT Live: What is your Leadership Philosophy? Getting clear on your leadership philosophy to increase employee engagement and commitment. 


Session 4 | Lewistown, MT

Cohort 1: Tim Guardipee, Class of 2022, Billings

Our time during Lewistown reminded us of our current national situation where ideologically two different sides hold strong to their beliefs and passions. We got to see and hear from a couple of opposing forces that are speaking out and creating action for what they hold dear. What I appreciated about our own discussions, the community conversation, and land issues, we were able to have dialog in a manner that respected views, allowed discourse with no agenda.  When we as a society can respect, and I dare say love others individually even those we disagree with, it lessens the tension, fear, and hate and opens a broader ability to communicate. Not that we have to choose sides but we can view others with a different lens, one at times is hard for us to put on.

I appreciate the opportunity to discuss, learn, evaluate and understand. In Montana, we at times are insulated from the divisiveness that grips certain parts of America. We go about our daily lives putting in the efforts we care about usually in our own localities. We bustle about, we make happen, we innovate, we lead the charge and we care what we care about without regard to the national landscape. 

Being in Lewistown and seeing the vibrancy the town has maintained and feeling the passion adds a sense of hope. Even when hearing about the fires, community concerns, food production issues, and land stewardship, a community can still have hope that what they do matters, especially for future generations. The value in the opportunity to learn and grow as a leader, which has the potential impact on future generations, is unquantifiable. That also gives me hope that we collectively as a group of individuals from all walks of life can be the drops of rain that bring abundant life to all that we have an influence on and care about. 

Cohort 2: Leslie Southworth, Class of 2022, Lewistown

Our 4th gathering brought everyone to Central Montana under the clear blue winter skies, a truly beautiful setting to dive deeper into our conversations about gracious space. I am of course biased being born, raised, and residing in Lewistown. I was especially eager to dive into listening and learning about gracious spirit. In today’s world where it feels like the challenges are overwhelming and never-ending, it seemed many of us are seeking a way to have better conversations both in our work and those we interact with within our personal lives. 

I couldn’t help but think about the background for our conversations on Cultivating the Spirit of Gracious Space. Central Montana is surrounded by the Judith, Snowy, and Belt mountains yet also borders the edge of the Montana prairie, a backdrop representative of vast geographic differences. It was in this setting where both cohorts of the current Flagship class were able to witness the power of gracious space and experience it firsthand as two organizations with opposing views shared the same space for a conversation. The conflict in values between those in the conversation was intense, yet we learned as they listened and responded to one another. We learned about the organizations and the land, witnessed masterful moderation, some enjoyed it while others did not, but we all learned something and that is the beautiful thing about this experience.

It is only through this amazing organization, Leadership Montana, these organizations trusted enough to share in the most vulnerable way so we all could learn. Amazing! The experience lent deeply to our conversations the next three days about intention, compassion, and curiosity. About the responses or behaviors, we display when our values are in or out of alignment and how our difference in values are often the root of conflict. Although there were big conversations in the room about important topics such as diversity and wage gaps, it was a conversation about cowboy hat etiquette that perfectly reflected the lesson on conflict.  Curiosity about the other led to understanding amongst the group. Be curious, as there is so much more we all could learn.


Session 2 

Kelly Cresswell, Helena, Class of 2006, Masters 2022

Our second Masters Class session provided real-time opportunities to practice the lessons of The Leadership Challenge:

  • We Challenged the Process when COVID challenges required a change in plans. Originally, we were planning to meet in Miles City, in person. However, quite a few class members expressed that they would not be able to meet in person that week. Jen Davis took the initiative in anticipating and responding to this challenge, and instead, delivered an excellent session over Zoom. Jen Doty and Katie Dasinger further challenged the process, by meeting together in Sidney for the Zoom session.
  • We Enabled Others to Act by actively listening to diverse points of view among our class members, and treating one another with dignity and respect. Zoom breakouts provided an opportunity to develop cooperative relationships among class members, and the virtual delivery provided all of us great freedom and choice in deciding where we wanted to be during the class session. In fact, it allowed Mary Walks Over Ice to be with her new granddaughter, Uma, during our session. Mary shared pictures, and Uma is adorable!  
  • We Encouraged the Heart throughout our three days together, continually recognizing one another for contributions to class discussions, and sharing ideas and experiences. Jen facilitated a great activity, randomly assigning a classmate’s name to each of us. We then identified three qualities we see in that person, and shared them with the class. This was a simple, powerful example of recognizing the uniqueness of each person, and publicly recognizing him or her. We celebrated Rachel Buswell’s new job, and shared our concern for classmates who had recently experienced losses. Even though we were virtual, we still deepened our connections.

We are looking forward to meeting in Helena – in person – in April, and quite a few members of the Masters Class of 2022 will be at the Red Lodge Confluence in March. Will we see you there?

Masters 22, “You’re the best! You’re the best! You’re the best!”

Applications for annual Alumni Awards are open until April 15.

The Barbara Braided Hair Alumni Leadership Award recognizes a Leadership Montana Alumnus who has had a significant impact at the local or state level. The recipient should demonstrate outstanding leadership in keeping with and expanding the Leadership Montana philosophy in his or her community or the state.

The Mike O’Neill Alumni Service Award recognizes and promotes alumni service to support Leadership Montana programs and/or alumni activities. The recipient is a Leadership Montana Alumnus who has used his or her leadership skills, knowledge, and resources to benefit Leadership Montana. 

Click here to see a list of past recipients.

Click here to submit a nomination. 



Be a Community Connector and join a special group of alumni who provide steady monthly support to Leadership Montana. Your recurring gifts will be a dependable source of support that Leadership Montana can count on throughout the year.

With automatic deductions from your credit card, debit card, or checking account, you can make one monthly gift today without further action and know your charitable giving is in place for the entire year. If your situation changes for any reason, you can always update or cancel your gift.

Monthly giving is the most cost-efficient way to deliver your support. Spreading your support throughout the year is a convenient way to include your donations into your personal budget. Sign up today to set up your monthly or recurring gift today! 

Thank you!

SIGN UP to be a Community Connector


Our gratitude this month goes to Crowley Fleck. We are honored to have several Crowley Fleck partners and attorneys participate in Leadership Montana and remain engaged alumni over many years. We deeply value this partnership. Thank you to all your team members for all that you do to help build a better Montana! We are thankful to you and all of our supporters!

If your company is interested in learning about sponsorship partnerships with Leadership Montana, let us know.

EVENTS - Opportunities to Listen, Learn and Build Connection

March 9, 2022, at 10:00 - 11:30 am – LMT Live: Leading through Change with LMT Lead Trainer, Dr. Jerry Evans.

March 13-15, 2022, The Confluence, Red Lodge. Registration is open.

April 12, 2022 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm - Save the Date -LMT's new Indigi-Talks: During this series we will discuss topics related to Indigenous history, culture, and opportunity. We will hear from Indigenous leaders across Montana.  This is an opportunity to talk about race, culture, and community. Not just talk about it, but learn, grow and engage in positive change in Montana. 

May 19, 2022  at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm. LMT Live: What is your Leadership Philosophy? Getting clear on your leadership philosophy to increase employee engagement and commitment. 

June 2-3, 2022, Celebrate Montana, Bozeman. Tickets are available.

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Leadership Montana is a non-profit collaboration of leaders from business, labor, healthcare, higher education, non-profits and government coming together to form a strong partnership for the betterment of Montana.

Leadership Montana exists to develop leaders committed to building a better Montana through knowledge, collaboration and civility.