Leadership Montana Classroom Reflection: Roald Aageson, Class of 2021, Bozeman
Barb Cestero
Masters Class Session: Barb Cestero
March 31, 2020
Arielle Allen
Flagship Session: Arielle Allen
October 31, 2020
Roald Aageson


Roald Aageson, Class of 2021, Bozeman

Session One Class Reflection
by Roald Aageson, Class of 2021, BozemanRoald Aageson

Honesty, sincerity, vulnerability, modesty, humility, grace, respect… The list goes on and on. I first learned of Leadership Montana several years ago and had wanted to apply ever since. A couple of colleagues, LMT alums, offered some insight as to their experiences. However, without seeing it for myself, I’m not sure I could have been prepared for what I experienced in my first session of the Flagship Program of Leadership Montana at Big Sky in early September 2020. The bar is set higher at Leadership Montana.

I remember early in the year (pre-COVID) thinking lightheartedly to myself, “2020 – a visionary year.” There were sure to be a lot of plays on 20/20 vision. As 2020 draws to a close, I reflect on the trials and tribulations that our society, our country, and our world have endured in the nine months past. The onset of a pandemic, social unrest – 2020 is a year we will undoubtedly never forget. That said, it set a very interesting table for our Leadership Montana experience, including even some skepticism as to whether it would take place and, if it did, under what constructs.

Plans were put in place for a full session in Big Sky, albeit with masks to be worn throughout. It was the first conference I’d attended since March and I hadn’t the slightest idea what to expect. With everyone wearing masks, I found it more challenging to communicate with others, but we made it through with relative ease. Much discussed at Big Sky – We’re doing the best we can.

My first Leadership Montana experience was nothing if not moving. The honesty, sincerity, vulnerability, modesty, humility, grace, and respect displayed from every member of the group was demonstrative of what we should strive for in our everyday lives and should be the model for all social interactions. Our world is plagued with so much incivility and social gridlock but by attempting to clear that bar set by Leadership Montana, we can attempt to combat that.

Our first session of Leadership Montana provided a framework for leadership that embraces the idea of “us” as opposed to “me”. It offered a 20/20 vision with which to lead and I can only look forward to the remainder of Leadership Montana with hopeful anticipation of clearing that high bar.

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