by Kitt Williams, Class of 2021, Butte
Welcome to Camelot…… Ranch…… in Billings, MT.
A place where “Knights of the Round” have been replaced by the “Coalitions of Land Use”, suits of armor replaced with face masks, but we’re still doing our best to avoid the plague.
There was a time when leadership was as simple as removing a sword from a stone. Straightforward right? Nowadays it is widely accepted that “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.”….. or leadership.
Thus, we must continue our training in the ways of “Gracious Space”, communication, and conflict resolution through listening instead of swordplay.
Our session kicked off and later closed with Class Member Conversations. This is my favorite part of the structured LMT Curriculum. Understanding people’s experiences and where they come from demonstrates their resiliency, strength, and individuality.
Carmen McSpadden guided the class to “Learn in Public” through Peer Coaching as well as “Yes… And…” exercises. Melanie Schwarz presented an overview of economic development in Billings, showing the backbone of Billings is people like her that truly care and work to see it thrive.
It is difficult to remember much about Day 2 other than Barb Wagner explaining with fevered excitement the contents of a straw that she had received on a tour of the “Origen?” Facility that she had toured with her home team that morning. You will have to look up the facility on your own to understand further dear reader, because I won’t take you deeper down this rabbit hole.
A Lawyer, CEO/RN, Mortician, Financial Advisor, Architect, and Marketing Director walk into Camelot. This isn’t the start of a joke, but the members of our Local Alumni Panel. Ariel, Lennette, Shawnee, Chad, Toni, and Nick did an excellent job demonstrating not only the diversity of LMT Alumni, but how much these individuals care about their community and how dedicated they are to its success.
Dax Schieffer rounded out the day with a discussion on tourism in Montana. Dax was engaging, knowledgeable, and spoke with the same enthusiasm I experienced earlier that day watching a car shredded in 18 seconds at Pacific Steel & Recycling.
While some in the class struggled through a red eyed internal conflict produced by three long days in class, Jerry Evans focused on productive conflict by guiding the class to understand and overcome interpersonal and organizational conflict.