Leadership Montana Blog: Connection a Message from Chantel Schieffer
Steam rises from a placid lake with mountains jutting into cloudy sky lit by a sunset or sunrise
July 1, 2017
Two red pieces of farm equipment in a field
Setting the Setting
September 1, 2017
A round, rocky outcropping above a bright green valley with water


Message from president/CEO Chantel Schieffer

In Leadership Montana, we talk a lot about the importance of “showing up” for our colleagues, families, friends, and neighbors. As trustees of Montana, we are often expected to “show up” for our communities. But what does that mean, really? I asked some of the smartest people I know to help me articulate what showing up means to them. Here are some highlights from several sources…

“Showing up can have many meanings. In your career and personal goals, putting forth the best effort you can. For friends and family being there unconditionally, no judgement and sometimes no words. For things we believe in, getting off the sideline and standing up for what is right, even if it is not popular.

…arriving prepared to tackle the toughest project without complaint.

…being emotionally and mentally available for the situation.

…being so in tune with someone that your own agenda and schedule fade away, making yourself 100% available to… show up.

…no matter how hard it is, or how tired you are, or what else you have on your schedule that day, no matter what else is trying to claim your attention…you put those things aside, and turn all of your mental, emotional and physical self to the task at hand.

…when others show up for me it allows me to grow my ability to empathize.

…step up or step out…I prefer to step up.

… people that have showed up when least expected have given some of the most powerful of life’s experiences.”

As Leadership Montana colleagues, we often show up unexpectedly for each other. I’m not sure why this surprises me, as the model of our program works to ensure that class members have all the tools to develop deep relationships with one another.

And yet still, I hear stories of unexpected presence and I more fully understand the power of our bonds. These stories include showing up on the door step while a classmate grieves a loved one, telling a colleague about the great new career opportunity that they didn’t even know they wanted, convening to celebrate a cancer-free diagnosis, and traveling across the state to attend the wedding of someone you met less than a year ago (that happened twice this summer).

Through these stories and so many more, I am reminded that Leadership Montana can be about much more than professional development. For many, it is life development. And on a personal note, I would like to thank everyone that has shown up – unexpectedly – for my family during our son’s bone marrow transplant. There will never be sufficient words to express our immense gratitude.

Do you have a story about “showing up” to share? I’d love to hear it in as much or as little detail as you’d like.

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