A number of conversations recently have centered around this concept of “hope”. Earlier this month while visiting with a top leader, he said to me that he
“often feels hopeless. So much is hard right now. But I can’t let my people see that in me. I have to show them that everything is going to be OK. I have to show them sunshine and rainbows.”
His words hit me straight in the heart. Not only do I often feel the same way, I also believe that to be incredibly unfair. There is an extra layer of burden to painting a rosy picture, especially when our brushes are dirty or the paint is all dried up. That’s how I feel when I’m out of alignment with my leadership, like I own the tools but they need repair.
Knowing that my friend lists authenticity as a core value, I asked what would happen if he showed up with the realness he showed me in this conversation. What would happen if the team saw his moments of doubt?
“I don’t know. That’s a level of vulnerability I don’t have right now. But I need…something.”
This conversation has stuck with me for weeks as I think about hope and that “something” we all need right now for alignment with our leadership and our values. That “something” is different for each of us but a few common concepts speak to me from the many thought-leaders we study at Leadership Montana.
Connection, to be reminded that we don’t walk this life alone.
Play, to laugh, seek joy, and have fun.
Learning, to grow our understanding of the world and our place in it.
Conversation, to build connection and inspire hope.
Rest. Rest. Rest (as I write waiting to board a plane for vacation).
I know these are the things I need to align to my best self and get those leadership tools back in working order. I’m grateful to have found most of these during this past month through our programming. From The Confluence to the Indigenous Immersion Initiative, I’ve genuinely felt those moments of hope for our future.
So for each of us out there yearning for hope and seeking that “something”, let this serve as your invitation to be inspired again by Leadership Montana.
Be well and lead well,
Chantel M. Schieffer
President & CEO
Class of 2010, Masters 2019
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.
If you have not yet paid, 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.
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.
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...
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.
Throughout this special Leadership Montana series, we will discuss topics related to Indigenous history, culture, and opportunity. Join us to listen to and learn from Indigenous leaders across Montana.
April 12, 2022 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm - Our first session includes host Marci McLean, LMT Indigenous Program Director, and her guest Angie Pollock, Amskapii Pikanii (Blackfeet), a career Wild Land Firefighter who has spent the last 21 years with the United States Forrest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management. Angie has led teams from the front lines of the fire to the floors of the dispatch centers.
Angie and Marci will discuss some myths and assumptions folks have about Native Americans, followed by small group conversations about the discussion, then share out with the large group. We will finish up by discussions on how to be a good ally for Indigenous Montanans.
Our Helena Flagship session embodied coming together in more way than one.
Admittedly prior to our session, coming together was not the first thought that came to mind when thinking of Helena. It seems somewhere along the way I projected the sometimes-contentious tone of the legislative process onto the City of Helena herself not acknowledging the true heart and soul of the community. Thank goodness the Helena Session reframed my perspective of the community and reinforced the progress our class has made.
Our Helena Session provided a richness and depth one might expect in a City that is home to the State Capitol. Through our tour of the Montana Historical Society, we became visually aware of the magnitude of history held in the belly of the archives and through the art on display. We came together in our State Capitol building to gain knowledge about economics, tourism, and tribal issues. We listened and felt deeply as we learned about The Cheyenne Story. Many of us walked to gatherings allowing for both comradery while viewing historic and modern aspects of Helena such as the Montana Club and the Holter Museum. We engaged with the Leaders of Helena as they shared stories during the Community Conversations, and we learned of their place on the Pricky Pear Land Trust Tour.
A sense of coming together resounded with our classmates. Now that we are past the halfway point in our program, we felt ever more unified as a group of peers rather than a gathering of strangers. It was the Helena Session that I decided our mix of classmates was the perfect mix and I could not imagine having these experiences with a different combination of peers. It seems there was a tipping point in my heart where I feel not only connected to individuals but simply felt connection to my class as a whole. With each Class member Conversation, I am reminded of the common threads of the human experience of success, challenges, healing, resiliency, and growth. The Walk in Another’s Shoes exercise reinforced this sense of connection.
We have made progress with our Gracious Space and Leading in Montana skillsets. We are expanding our capacity to talk about heated issues and practice deep listening. The sense of “us versus them” is dissolving and it feels like a coming together. We talked about extending this skillset outside of the program and the unique set of challenges offered outside of the bubble.
As I reflect on the Helena Session, I am grateful for the contribution Helena offers our great State, to the growth within me, and to the connections nurtured.
MASTERS CLASS REFLECTION
Stephen Schreibeis, Glendive, Class of 2021 and Masters 2022
One of my favorite sayings my whole life has been, “Our greatest challenge is our greatest opportunity to grow.” If you are like me, the last two years have been some of the toughest years to lead through. I have never in my life had to lean on these words as much as I have this past couple of years. As difficult as everything has been, I have learned a couple of things.
First, it is so important to lean into our challenges. Growth only comes from actively and intentionally showing up and being consistent. It is through this intentionality and consistency that we not only grow, but we put ourselves in the best position to be successful. What are you doing to be intentional about your growth?
Second, every bad situation has something good surrounding it. We need to intentionally look for that “silver lining.” When mining for gold, it produces about 3-8 grams of gold for every metric ton of earth processed. There is always good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it and sometimes, it takes a while to find it. Are you looking for the positives in what is going on in your life?
And finally, it is so important to have the right people around you helping, encouraging, and supporting you. We all need people to lean on in our tough times. We also need them to celebrate with us in our good times as well. Without people that we can trust to encourage us, challenge us, and celebrate with us, we will never reach our full potential. Do you have like-minded people that will be your champion?
This year, I have been blessed to be a part of the Master’s Program. I just graduated from Leadership Montana in 2021, but knew that I needed to keep going in my growth journey. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was going to be like, but I am very grateful that I decided to participate. The personal growth opportunities are tremendous. Being able to dive into who I perceive myself to be as a leader and comparing that with what the people around me perceive me to be as a leader has truly been invaluable. But the best part of it has been being around like-minded people that want nothing but the best for you and everyone else in the class. It is programs like this that are truly special. If you have the opportunity to join the Master’s Class, I highly recommend it!
No matter what you are dealing with in your personal or professional life, I challenge everyone who is reading this to lean in, mine for the gold around you, and surround yourself with like-minded people that will help you turn any challenge into the greatest growth you have ever had in your life.
INDIGENOUS IMMERSION INITIATIVE REFLECTION
John Morrison, Helena, Class of 2005 and III 2022
Our first gathering was held in the Paradise Valley, which we are told is historically a common hunting ground of the Indigenous tribes. Thanks to Arthur Blank’s West Creek Ranch for the meeting place, which was just right.
Marci, Samuel, Cinda, Misty, and Jim were our leaders and teachers. Marci and Chantel provided thoughtful, calming, and seamless facilitation. Other participants, all Leadership Montana alumni, many specially trained and experienced now in the concepts of Gracious Space, come from across Montana and bring an array of skills and knowledge to the room. I am reminded of the trust and sharing and honesty that the Leadership Montana format inspires.
Indoors and outside, we explored the history of Native American boarding schools and other tactics used by settlers and the U.S. Government to displace the people who lived on this land and to deal with “the Indian Problem.” We smudged and passed the talking stick; we shared, contemplated, and absorbed. As usual at Leadership Montana, we made fast new friends.
We witnessed and began to reflect on the inter-generational trauma that the Native peoples have suffered. There are no easy or quick solutions, but progress begins with understanding the trauma that our Indigenous neighbors suffer even today. I would like to be able to adopt a policy and solve the problems facing Indian families and communities, but it will take time. The path to empathy and healing is long and the route is not clear. I am sure, though, that the sign at the trailhead says “Listen.”
Can’t wait for our next session.
Applications for annual Alumni Awards close on 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.
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
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!
Our gratitude this month goes to Treasure State Coffee Company Inc. We deeply value this partnership. Thank you Jim and 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
April 12, 2022 at 11:30 am - 1:00 pm -LMT's new Indigi Talks: Our first session includes host Marci McLean, LMT Indigenous Program Director, and her guest Angie Pollock, Amskapii Pikanii (Blackfeet), a career Wild Land Firefighter who has spent the last 21 years with the United States Forrest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management. Angie has led teams from the front lines of the fire to the floors of the dispatch centers.
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.