Whether we know it or not - or admit it or not - we are all prone to working so hard for so long that we find ourselves in various stages of burnout. This is a real and growing problem amongst leaders across the globe.
In our “hustle harder” culture, no one is immune from feelings of stress, overwhelm, confusion, lack of motivation, and more. And when we ignore these issues, they can fester to a point of damaging behavior, poor work performance, and toxic work environments.
It is incumbent upon all of us - wherever we land in an organizational structure - to be mindful of these ways that burnout shows up in ourselves and those around us.
Emotional signs and symptoms of burnout
Sense of failure and self-doubt
Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
Detachment, feeling alone in the world
Loss of motivation
Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
I see the signs and symptoms of burnout too often in my social circles, with professional colleagues including LMT alumni, on my own team, and when I look in the mirror. Especially right now, it seems unavoidable. The good news is that when we pay attention to what is happening with those around us - and in ourselves - we can talk about it and change it.
I have spent the last month in extended vacation mode because I recognized that I needed rest. I needed to reset after an extended period of time operating in crisis mode. So do you. So do all of us. If you are struggling right now, please know that you are not alone.
Friends, I ask you to seriously consider examining burnout and how it may be showing up in and around you. In July, we have a stellar “Beating Burnout” training in Helena with nationally acclaimed leadership coach Colene Elridge. I hope you can join us.
Please know that we are here to help you and your team overcome this or any other challenge so that you can work best together. We are here for you. Always.
Be well and lead well,
Chantel M. Schieffer
President & CEO
Class of 2010, Masters 2019
Many communities in Montana have been on our minds this past month as rivers overflowed flooding valleys and communities. One of the communities impacted, Red Lodge, hosted The Confluence in March 2022, and while there we learned about the inspiring volunteer force that is a back bone of this small town. As we watched the videos of floodwaters flowing through the town we thought about the downtown businesses and friends we had just connected with. We received this note from Amy Hyfield, LMT Class of 2017 and Volunteer Coordinator with Red Lodge Fire and Rescue. She titled it "Leadership Montana to the Rescue".
"A little note to say that Leadership Montana is kicking butt in Carbon County.
I am working as a public information officer for the Carbon County Flooding incident. My Incident Commander asked if we could get in touch with Diane Wright with the Red Cross as we had heard that they are planning to set up a MARC - Multi-Agency Resource Center in Red Lodge and Fromberg to help those affected by recent flooding.
I said I was happy to - I know her from my Leadership Montana class.
I proceeded to connect her with Kelly Heaton, also an LMT alumnus to help connect on local efforts. Things are in motion! Of course, Tom Kohley is also heavily involved in the efforts down here as well. "
If you would like to support the Red Lodge community, The Red Lodge Area Community Foundation is taking care of volunteer coordination and donation of goods and money. You can check out their information at rlacf.org. Volunteer work in Red Lodge seems to be waning as a lot of things have gotten done, but work still continues in Fromberg and the Clarks Fork Valley. You can also find information at Carbonalert.org/incidents.
We are proud of all Leadership Montana alumni that are stepping up and serving Montana and their communities every day.
If you would like to support other areas of Montana affected by recent flooding:
Click here to assist with flood relief efforts in the Absarokee Community.
Click here to assist with flood relief efforts in Carbon County.
Click here to assist with flood relief efforts in the Columbus Community
Click here to assist with flood relief efforts in Park County, Madison County, and other areas of Southwest Montana.
Click here to support long-term recovery efforts for all Montana communities through the Montana Disaster Relief Fund.
Thank you to Alumni that have invested in the future of Leadership Montana by paying your Active Alumni Membership Dues. Active Alumni enjoy the benefits of connections, early registration access to unique gatherings, and exlusive discounts that support statewide unification and strong leadership.
If you have not yet paid your annual Alumni dues we hope you will 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. *Class of 2022 - your dues are covered until 2023.
Do you have too many balls in the air? Do you feel like you have a never-ending to-do list? Have you ever thought, "If I can just get to next week, things will be better"! Only to get to next week, and your schedule is still overbooked... You might be on the verge of burnout. Don't worry, you're not alone!
Burnout rates are rising, and the consequences impact us both at work and at home! And if left un-managed, you can go down the spiral of chaos even more!
During Beating Burnout, we will:
Define burnout and its symptoms
Gain tips on preventing and treating burnout
Create actionable ways to reduce stress and anxiety at work
This is one you NEED to be at!
Join us in welcoming national leadership and business coach Colene Elridge back to Montana for another in-person session of Lessons in Leadership.
Coach Colene is a results-oriented success coach with nearly 17 years of experience in human resources, training, government, and entrepreneurship. She is respected for her passion to make workplaces better, happier, and more productive, “I've spent more than 10 years thinking about what makes work environments tick and how we can create extraordinary leaders and engaging workplaces,” says Colene. “I want to change the way people think about Life, Leadership, and Work through focused coaching, workshops, and training.”
When: Monday, July 18, 20224:30 - 6:00 PM Where: Helena College - Airport Campus Lecture Hall Cost: $30
Chuck Winn - Barbara Braided Hair Alumni Leadership Award
Leslie Messer - Mike O'Neill Alumni Service Award
At the Celebrate Montana event on June 2 we were able to honor Leadership Montana graduates and Alumni. Two Alumnis honored that evening were Chuck Winn and Leslie Messer.
Chuck Winn, LMT 2015, Masters 2019, Bozeman
Barbara Braided Hair Alumni Leadership Award
The Barbara Braided Hair Alumni Leadership Award recognizes and promotes community involvement. The award is presented to a Leadership Montana Alumnus who has had a significant impact at the local or state level. The recipient demonstrates outstanding leadership in keeping with and expanding the Leadership Montana philosophy in his or her community or the state and serves as an example of leadership for others.
Chuck is an example of the ideals and values held by Leadership Montana and he puts these values on display every day, but in quiet, unassuming ways. Just listening to his episode of Listen First Montana clearly shows that and more. Listening and learning are two of his favorite things. On respect and celebrating diversity, he goes out of his way to ensure all voices are included in all conversations. He has a gift of bringing together diverse perspectives in collaborative efforts to create more equitable solutions. While it admittedly took awhile for him to embrace Gracious Space, once he did, he hasn’t let it go. His passion for and commitment to Montana is nearly unmatched and clearly illustrated when we see him smile from behind a motorcycle helmet.
He uses his Gracious Space training and certification everyday as Assistant City Manager of Bozeman. In a community experiencing incredible growth, challenge, and opportunities, he leads with a steady hand and an open heart. His calm confidence shows through as he gently guides his community through tough conversations - often publicly. More than once, he has relied on his Gracious Space training to facilitate community conversations about growth, housing, and more. He is a member of the inaugural Indigenous Immersion Initiative. He was a member of the of the inaugural Masters Class. There is a theme here - he is one of the first to always say “Yes” to developing himself into a better leader. In his spare time, he is a community volunteer who places a strong focus on bettering society with his service, though he will be the first to tell you that it’s actually himself who is made better.
Leslie Messer, LMT 2008, Masters 2020, Savage
The Mike O’Neill Alumni Service Award recognizes alumni service to support the Leadership Montana program and/or alumni activities. The award recognizes a Leadership Montana Alumnae who has used his or her leadership skills, knowledge, and resources to benefit Leadership Montana.
This year’s awardee was nominated for her multiple acts of service to the organization this year.
This year we overhauled our Gracious Space curriculum delivery in the Flagship Program. We identified 20 out of our 56 alumni who are Gracious Space Certified Trainers to create a training team for the Flagship Program. These alumni met in Helena in June and then met monthly on zoom over the past year to design the delivery of our Gracious Space lessons. This Alumna participated on the training team for our Learning in Public lesson and contributed greatly to the teaching with our Class of 2022 cohort. Her experience with Gracious Space at the county level, in her church, and in all of her civic volunteer roles added so much value to the way our class members learned about the real world applications of this leadership model.
Beyond her work teaching Gracious Space, she had a significant impact on the entire week the class was in her community. When our own Anna Berg had to care for her injured fiancé, this Alumna stepped in and ensured that every tour, every speaker, and every experience in Eastern Montana was top notch. She even went the extra mile in helping us secure local session sponsors. At every step of the way she embodied grace along with Leadership Montana’s values of knowledge, collaboration, and civility while making incredible experiences for current class members statewide.
This year Leslie also served on the planning committee of the Women’s Leadership Forum as part of her dedication to remain committed and involved with Leadership Montana after the end of her term on the Board of Governors.
MASTERS CLASS REFLECTION Sara Smith, LMT Class of 2012 and Masters 2022, Missoula
Leadership is messy. It is hard. It can be isolating and lonely as well, especially when the challenge feels overwhelming. My first session of the Master Class last Fall illustrated the toll that leadership can take during the hard times. It was reflected in the faces of my fellow classmates and those feelings were palpable in the room that first day. Rising to the enormous task of leading during a pandemic, during divisiveness in communities, zoom calls, and a real lack of connection while still trying to be available to family and friends left many of us empty, exhausted, and just over it. Our “Give-A-F#@$” had left the building.
Working through value exercises and getting connected back to our real purpose refocused our efforts. Understanding our patterns in leadership and how we default helped us craft ways to think differently and find new paths to accomplish the same hard tasks ahead of us. Making sure we are taking care of ourselves is so incredibly important. Put your breathing apparatus on first in a loss of pressure only allows you to help others more fully.
By our last session, the change was real. I saw smiles on faces, a recognition of how far people had come in a short time because we engaged, reached out, actively listened, and were curious with each other. I had strengthened old relationships, formed new ones, and really appreciated every single one of my classmates in ways that I had not even anticipated or expected. The work is far from over. It never is (isn’t leadership fun?) but having a support network is lifesaving. I am so grateful for the experience, for my classmates, and for the leaders leading leaders in this organization.
Applications for the Masters Class of 2023 close on July 31, 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
Are you finding that your teams are stretched thin, avoiding real talk, and struggling to emerge from the past two years of the pandemic and focus on forward motion? Now more than ever, Gracious Space is the special sauce to use in overwhelming times and an essential skill set for working with diverse groups of people.
Chuck Winn, who currently serves as the Assistant City Manager of the City of Bozeman, had this to say about the value he got from this additional GS training beyond the Flagship Class:
"For me, conflict can be difficult, uncomfortable and messy and I often avoided it. However, with Gracious Space training I’ve learned that when handled in a better way, conflict and difficult conversations can also be transforming, affirming and can build stronger relationships and positive outcomes.
Gracious Space taught me not only how to survive, but thrive, in conflict and difficult conversations. When we know how to create environments and settings that allow different viewpoints and values to co-exist, learning happens and relationships are built. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we can be a part of the change this world so desperately needs right now.
Where I ran from hard conversations whenever possible, I now look forward to making them happen in a better and more productive way."
If you are interested in:
Deepening your practice of Gracious Space,
teaching this practice to others,
or using in a strategic way with your team,
we invite you to consider training to be a certified facilitator.
Patricia Hughes offers mastery trainings in Seattle and virtually each year. In person trainings are two-days long, virtual courses occur in 4 separate multi-hour sessions. Several deliverables are required to complete the certification.
If you are interested in this training, please complete the interest form linked below. For more information, please contact Hatton Littman at 406-600-6076 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Sibanye Stillwater. Many thanks to their community giving committee for the continued support of Leadership Montana and four programs. We thank our alumni and friends at Sibanye Stillwater who are working hard to help build a better Montana! Many thanks for your generous sponsorship.
If your company is interested in learning about sponsorship partnerships with Leadership Montana, let us know.
EVENTS - Opportunities to Listen, Learn and Build Connection
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.