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Building Bridges

Leadership Montana was founded nearly twenty years ago to help leaders in our state work better together with a deeper knowledge of each other and our communities. This knowledge, combined with collaboration and civility, are the tools we need to build bridges across divisions of every kind. 
At the heart of our work, that’s what we do. We build metaphorical bridges across very real gaps in our society. Through our many programs, we help you learn from each other, seek understanding, and engage respectfully, even in disagreement. This is what our world needs even more of right now. 
We are proud of one very important fact. In the last five years, our programming has grown exponentially. What started with one core program has now grown to fifteen offerings that we provide you and the public of Montana. Our priority will always be the flagship experience, the entry to this Leadership Montana community. 
This year, we are launching a new program designed for those in our community by creating an opportunity to learn from and alongside Indigenous leaders of our state. 
Barbara Braided Hair (2005) inspired this program during a flagship class visit to Northern Cheyenne Nation in 2017. From that day and until her passing in 2019, her eyes sparkled when we talked about what was possible with this innovative idea. My conversations with our founder Tom Scott always included big dreams about how this type of work can change the fabric of society. 
It is with these Leadership Montana icons in our minds and hearts that we present to you the Indigenous Immersion Initiative. We look forward to listening to your thoughts and reading your applications for participation. 

Be well and lead well,

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

It's here! It's finally here! The Indigenous Immersion Initiative is designed to give LMT alumni a unique opportunity to learn from and alongside Indigenous leaders of our state.
We anticipate a short application period as you’ll see the first session is slated for March 2022. If what you read below intrigues you, we encourage you to submit an application right away. An estimated 30 minutes is suggested for completing the application and a link is provided below.
The Details
The program will include four sessions in 2022
  1. March 21-22  at West Creek Ranch in Emigrant. Orientation.
  2. April 21-23  in Missoula. Urban Indigenous communities, Kyiyo Pow Wow
  3. July 11-13  visit to Blackfeet Nation
  4. September 19-21 visit to Northern Cheyenne Nation
What to expect
A small cohort of LMT alumni (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) coming together to experience an innovative cultural immersion program through a series of four multi-day in-person visits. Together we will learn about the history, culture, and opportunities of Montana’s Indigenous communities. We will meet with Indigenous leaders from Tribal governments, business, education, healthcare, and community organizations to gain a deeper understanding of the unique and vibrant Indigenous cultures in Montana.
At Leadership Montana, we believe that understanding is the foundation upon which we can build bridges across our divides. This program is designed to provide the ultimate opportunity to listen and learn from Indigenous leaders across Montana by combining presentations on culture and history, tours of local businesses and institutions, and providing a continuation for meaningful conversations and relationships to build a better future for all. 
$3,000 with limited scholarships available. Includes most meals, materials, and facilitation. Potentially some lodging may be included as well.
Applications are open through January 20.
Marci McLean, Indigenous Program Director
Chantel Schieffer, President & CEO
APPLY now for the inaugural Indigenous Immersion Imitative
Special Charitable Tax incentives are expiring December 31, 2021

Thanks to the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, a temporary change in the law means that single filers and married taxpayers filing separately can deduct up to $300 for cash contributions made to qualifying charities during 2021. The potential deduction increases up to $600 for married taxpayers filing joint returns. This deduction is available even to those who don't itemize.

To qualify, your donation can be made online or postmarked by December 31, 2021. January 1st, 2022, the deduction goes away.

Please consider making a gift today to Leadership Montana. Your gift supports Leadership Montana's programming in developing leaders committed to building a better Montana through knowledge, collaboration, and civility. 

DONATE to Leadership Montana today
Is your New Year's Resolution more Connection and Learning in 2022?

Then you should plan to join us in person for The Confluence in Red Lodge on March 14 - 15, 2022. The Confluence committee is planning a thoughtful agenda that will focus on four aspects of the Red Lodge and Carbon County communities. Their vision includes an active discussion of how other communities and our state are addressing these issues. We hope you can learn from Red Lodge, and Red Lodge wants to learn from you. They are Inviting the Stranger so we can all Learn in Public. 

Four areas of focus on The Confluence agenda are:
  • Workforce housing
  • Education with a focus on career prep
  • City and county planning
  • Emergency services
Registration is open now. 
REIGSTER for The Confluence in Red Lodge
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
APPLY for the Masters Class
LEARN more about 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. 

Alumni State of the World conversations are open to only Alumni or current class members of Leadership Montana. 

January 11, 2022, at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm – Alumni State of the World Conversation: Montana Values

February 16, 2022, at 12:00 - 1:30 pm – LMT Live: Powerful Times and Powerless Times – Are you enabling or disabling your team to action? Facilitated by LMT Vice President, Jen Davis

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


Our January Alumni State of the World Conversation will focus on the topic Montana Values. We shifted to topic-specific State of the World Conversations to allow our alumni to really dig into practicing Gracious Space dialogue on a specific issue. We want to offer you the opportunity to be curious, to practice listening to diverse perspectives and viewpoints, and to express your ideas in the container of Gracious Space.
We also want to offer you the chance to build connections with leaders from across the state and learn how Montana communities are addressing challenges and opportunities.
We hope you will offer us your ideas about Montana Values so that we can prepare for this rich discussion and join us on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, from 5:00 - 6:30 pm on zoom. Registration is required for this event. 
We will share data from the survey during the conversation on January 11th.
COMPLETE the short survey about Montana Values

Session 1 | Emigrant, MT

Anne Hughes, Class of 2012, Masters 2022

So, I have this thing where I really only like to invest deeply in relationships with people who strive to be better humans. I’m pretty picky about it actually. I’m protective of how I spend my time and where I pay attention. I approach most things with my whole heart, and over the years I’ve learned that my heart is my superpower and it’s worth protecting. Being a better human means treating people who you don’t know with the same civility, dignity, respect, empathy and compassion as you treat your biological and logical family. A heartfelt (see what I did there?) thank you to American writer Armistead Maupin for coining “logical family.”

Gathering and learning with Leadership Montana people in the Paradise Valley feels like coming home. It’s been ten years since I went through the Flagship program. I may be ten years older, but the feeling is the same. Several days of listening deeply, grounding in my values, building humility and self-awareness and nurturing relationships is exhausting for this introvert. But I’ll keep coming back to the Master’s Class, the Women’s Leadership Forum, and to all the LMT events I can because that exhaustion means I’m working and not taking anything for granted.

The thing about Leadership Montana Masters is they’re in it for the long haul. They’re doubling down on being better humans. They’re not looking for the safety and security of their echo chambers. They’re seeking relationships and conversations that challenge their bias, push their growth and help them be better humans. And, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the good stuff right there and worth every minute.

Mark your calendars! Celebrate Montana will be held June 2 - 3, 2022. More details coming in the next month!


Noah Davis, Lewistown, Class of 2020
Interviewed by Heather Mattson, Missoula, Class of 2021

Noah Davis was born and raised in Geraldine, Montana. Born in a small town in Montana, farming and ranching was a way of life for him and his family. Noah loved ranching but was strongly encouraged by his family to go to college and get his degree. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman and played football for the Bobcats for 2 ½ years as a linebacker before hanging up his cleats to focus his time and energy on his academics. Noah successfully obtained his Mechanical Engineering degree from Montana State and went to work for NorthWestern Energy. While going to college, Noah met his wife, Amber, and they now have two children, Aurora (7) and Tristin (5). Noah and his family moved to Lewistown to be closer to the family farm in Geraldine. He spends all his time off from his work at NorthWestern helping his family run the farm.
Noah was part of the Leadership Montana (“LMT”) flagship class of 2019 - 2020. His favorite memory of LMT was in Lewiston, as the group had become very cohesive and finally understood what is meant to have excellent conversations. He said there were various people with strong personalities, but they had all learned that conversations could go much deeper and became more meaningful when they were open to hearing what each person had to say.
The strongest impact that LMT had on Noah was that it helped him change his perspective on how he viewed certain things. There are multiple sides to an issue, with many perspectives brought by people with different backgrounds who are entitled to their own views. He also noted that he doesn’t get as worked up about certain things as he may have previously.
Noah believes that the role of LMT in our state is to bring people to the table with open minds. LMT is about having the difficult conversations and being open to hearing the other side or perspective.
Noah’s appreciation for Montana has changed over the years. He stated that 10 years ago, Montana meant that there was a lot of open space and that open space gave us the ability to be very separated and independent. There is a mindset that we work hard to make a good life. Noah believes now that Montana is not just open space, but a place where you can truly be whomever you want to be – you can be your own person.


Our gratitude this month goes to Glacier Bancorp, Inc. for their continued partnership and generous support. Thank you to all their team members throughout Montana, at their affiliate banks, 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

January 11, 2022, at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm – Alumni State of the World Conversation: Montana Values

February 16, 2022, at 12:00 - 1:30pm – LMT Live: Powerful Times and Powerless Times – Are you enabling or disabling your team to action? Facilitated by LMT Vice President, Jen Davis

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

March 14-15, 2022, The Confluence, Red Lodge. Registration is open.

June 2-3, 2022, Celebrate Montana, Bozeman. More details coming soon.

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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.