Session Four Class Reflection by Bridget Wilkinson, Bozeman, Class of 2019
During this month’s Leadership Montana session in Helena we learned that conflict is critical to success in the workplace, that listening is key to leadership, and that the Montana Club can grill up a mean steak.
This session was a bit different than any other session we have attended to date. Most of our sessions have previously focused on the local challenges and opportunities of each community we have visited. We have had the opportunity to meet with local community leaders from across Montana who have given us insight into “community puzzles” they are trying to solve, from affordable housing to mental health issues to balancing land use and conservation.
However in Helena, we met with leadership that was focused on effecting change statewide from the Governor to the Supreme Court Justices to the legislators to lobbyists. We engaged in meaningful roundtable discussions on issues of statewide infrastructure to the education system. In Helena, we had the privilege of meeting with leaders, who given their unique roles, were able to look at the “macro” statewide systems of change, rather than the more “micro” perspectives we have learned about to date from each community. Both of these micro and macro perspectives are critical to solving challenges across our state.
The most impactful aspect of this session for me was our class member conversations. Each session I reminded of the remarkable journeys we have each taken to arrive in this class. Our unique experiences along the way have shaped the leaders we are becoming every day. These personal stories are a powerful reminder that there is never one clear path to leadership. That often, the road to leadership is messy and challenging – but beautiful in hindsight.
Overall, I was so grateful for the curated experience in Helena to learn about our state government and to learn from each other. Here’s to another great session!