The Seminar Management Teams (SMT’s) of Class XI presented on their leadership search activity of the previous day on this last morning of the session. A quick summary:

Black Seminar Management Team (SMT): Redwood Falls.   Kim, Chelsea, Holly, Shannon & Austin

  • Visited Dougs Lawn & Landscaping, and Weltch Equipment

Yellow SMT: Willmar. Jesse, Roy, Nada & Elizabeth

  • “Fine dining experience” visited Rolling Fork Vineyards, Simply Shrimp, & Novatech

Green SMT – met in Mankato. Jessica, Sarah, Haley, & Joel

  • Speaker: Sam Ziegler with Greenseam. Visited CBD Centers

Red SMT – met in Lanesboro. Kaelyn, Brad, Jana & Deborah

  • Amish experience, touristy area with river activities

White SMT – met in Chaska. Dylan, Quyntin, Katie, Amy & Eric

  • 5 Speakers – Rohit Shukla, Julie Tesch, Brett Bruggeman, JoAnne Berkenkamp, Michael Chaney

Blue SMT – met in Bemidji. Steven, Charlie, Dan, Cheryal & Brittany

  • Speakers – Dave Hengel

The seminar was wrapped up by sharing Golden Nuggets of this week. This included: “Power of the MARL Experience”, “People and Relationships”, “Simplify”, “Reaches of MARL”, “Importance of humility”, “Innovation”. That concluded the first EVER MARL hybrid/blended online & in-person seminar.

Submitted by Sarah McConnell & SMT Green

Day Two of Seminar Four was the day we all have been waiting for to finally meet some of our fellow MARL Class XI Classmates. The Seminar Management Teams (SMT) were meeting together in person, a highly anticipated, one & a half days with a few of our fellow classmates.

Each Team chose a location to meet and started the day with a Zoom meeting. Toby gave a lesson on Leadership Search, the mystery envelops were opened, and each Team member lead one of the lesson steps involving Leadership Search, with our plan in place it was time to “Go!” and practically apply all that we have learned in the previous three seminars.

As the Red SMT Team navigated through the day embracing the quintessential MARL experience, we were genuinely appreciative to have this time together. It was especially significant to have the opportunity to practically implement many of the lessons and techniques we have learned in previous seminars. In the evening we prepared a meal and sat around the dining room table for hours sharing stories, eating great food and reflecting on the day. It was a perfect MARL day.

Submitted by Deborah Mills

Turns out, strength based leadership can be a lot of fun! MARL Class XI participants gathered via zoom for another power-packed leadership seminar. Our focus was the book, Strength Based Leadership and the corresponding CliftonStrengths assessment. Class participants were asked to take the assessment prior to the seminar. Among the 27 class members, all 34 strengths finder themes were represented—we really are a well-rounded class!

We learned that the 34 strengths fall into four major domains: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. While some members’ five strengths fell into just one of the domains, others had all four represented. Everyone is truly a UNIQUE individual and understanding areas of strength can help individuals, families, teams, organizations and communities work more cohesively together. What one person sees BEFORE the strengths assessment to be bullheadedness, for example, might be understood AFTER to be Self Assurance or Focus. Another example might be understanding that the Strategic Thinkers love data and need time to process. This can help the Executers give them time to plan and think rather than put them on the spot for decisions.

We used multiple activities to write out our strengths to help us commit them to memory and own them. Shelly Schell, MARL Class VI, engaged us in a tree-drawing activity to highlight our strengths, inviting us first to consider the roots. Are they deep or shallow? What does the soil look like? Is it rocky? Sandy? Pass through water? What is the trunk like? Is it solid or sinewy? What makes up the trunk? What are the branches like? Where is the tree located? Is it alone or in a forest? Everyone’s tree, just like we, as individuals, showed up very differently and exhibited to each of us, a lot of meaning in a short period of time. We also decorated a block with our strengths as a desktop reminder of what they are and came up with our own ideas/designs of what we thought our strengths might look or sound like.

We discussed in the absence of the Strengths Assessment, another tool to help discover strengths is SIGNS. Success: What is something you are great at and perform excellently? Instinct: What is something you are naturally drawn to? Growth: You like learning more and it’s easy to focus on it. Need: It’s psychologically energizing and it feels good to use it.

We then broke into our Seminar Management Teams (based on geographic proximity) and worked through an exercise to discover our team strengths. We would utilize these strengths for the remainder of the seminar’s in person activities.


We also considered the “dark side” of strengths and how being “too much” of anything might be off-putting in situations and to be cognizant of that as we work in our different team environments.

Submitted by Seminar Management Team Yellow: Nada Carter, Jesse Pabst, Elizabeth Golombiecki and Roy Wookey