Transition: A time for intentionality – Adam Jespersen – New Executive Director, Montana Nonprofit Association

Montana Nonprofit Association


This week officially marks two weeks of me being the Executive Director of MNA. They have been marked by all the firsts – first team meeting, first Board meeting, first missed meeting (doh!). I am incredibly grateful for all the encouragement and enthusiasm I’ve received from so many as I step into this role.

Need a mindset reset? Join us at Catalyst and recommit to leadership.

As I look back on the entirety of the hiring and transition process – which started with Liz’s announcement to the board a year ago, I’m grateful for that, as well. While very few of us love interviews and the uncertainty of a hiring process, it was valuable in some very personal ways.

The hiring process really forced me to get my thinking beyond the day-to-day work at hand and focus on my own leadership and growth.  At times while preparing for interviews or envisioning different future paths for myself and for MNA, it felt like I had a hundred questions swirling in my mind, bouncing off one another and taking space and energy in my psyche. What are my core values and beliefs? Am I living those out in my work? Professionally, is this something that I truly want to pursue and why? Where am I confident in myself and about the future? Where am I insecure?  And what’s that all about? And on and on and on…

While those questions created some heavy and muddy-minded days, the beauty of the hiring process was that I HAD to work my way through them.  I had to grapple with those questions and find enough resolution in myself that I could articulate hopes, fears, and vision to an external audience.  The process forced an intentionality in my thinking and how I want to approach my work into the future.

Now, on the other side of that process, I feel a renewed sense of clarity, rejuvenation, and focus about MNA’s work, my roles and responsibilities within that, and the mindset that I bring to our mission.  For that, I am grateful.

I believe that we ALL need an opportunity like that.  From time to time, everyone needs a mechanism that allows us to take a breath, recenter, and recommit to the work we do.

The tyranny of the urgent is a very real thing. It pushes us into a state of reacting instead of intentional forward movement.  Our ability to show up fully and to lead in the work that we do is hugely impacted by our mindset, and it deserves intentional cultivation and focus.

That is why I am so excited about the MNA’s inaugural Catalyst 2024. Coming up on May 29-30 at Fairmont Hot Springs, Catalyst 2024 provides at least a day or two for breath, connection, and intention. The 29th is the Catalyst Experience, a full day for personal leadership reflection facilitated by some awesome leaders. The 30th is the Catalyst Summit, a full day of keynotes, workshops, and opportunities to share wisdom with other leaders across the state. You can choose to attend one or both days, depending on your needs.

The content and agenda will be worth your time and comes with the added benefit of dedicated windshield time and a beautiful event setting to decompress, breathe, and prioritize yourself.

Our work is hard. The pace and the demands often seem unrelenting, and they sap the clarity, energy, and focus that we as leaders want and hope to bring to our work. Catalyst 2024 is designed to push back against that. I hope you’ll consider joining me and team MNA in a couple weeks.

See you soon!


Adam Jespersen
Executive Director, Montana Nonprofit Association
[email protected]

Register now for Catalyst!

Deadline for registration is May 20 – that’s Monday.


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