Last week, I had a conversation with an alumnus from the class of 2007 about how often he reads the cards in his Treasure Box. This tradition has been a part of Leadership Montana since the start and continues to provide many graduates with comfort of words from their peers. These words reflect the admiration that we hold for one another, the treasures that we see in people that have quickly come to mean a great deal to us.
This conversation prompted me to review the contents of my own Treasure Box which includes notes from my 2010 classmates, 2019 Masters, and wonderful cards collected from alumni and sponsors over the last six years. I didn’t realize how much I needed to see myself through others’ eyes after months of pretty constant chaos. I needed this boost. I wonder if others do, too.
Words and actions of appreciation and gratitude have a profound effect on our well-being. The most tested and proven leadership theories all call for strong practices of gratitude and appreciation. More than just feeling gratitude, we must express it for the benefits to be realized. In the simplest of ways, this is the value of our Treasurer Boxes. We all want to feel appreciated, seen, and understood. When we take a handful of moments to share with someone what we see in them that is great, they can start to believe it, too. What takes us just a few moments to write out can uplift someone for years. That is powerful. That is leadership and we need more of this in our world today.
This month, we are launching a partnership with Sugar & Kiki postcards to make it easy for you to express your appreciation and gratitude. You will send in your favorite leadership quote, they will design a stunning personalized postcard, address and stamp it, and send it back for you to include your words of appreciation and gratitude. Imagine all the joy we can create together, just by sharing a string of meaningful words.
Chantel M. Schieffer
President & CEO
Class of 2010, Masters 2019