LeadAR Class 19 Spotlight: Michal Harris
We are pleased to introduce our next member of LeadAR Class 19 — Michal Harris. Education is a primary factor in his life, as Harris is currently pursuing a doctorate degree from Grand Canyon University.
He is very active in the community, serving on the Racial Cultural Diversity Commission for the City of Little Rock, Age Friendly Commission of Little Rock, and Friends of Mosaic Templars Young Professionals Board. He currently serves as president-elect of Kiwanis of Pulaski Heights, vice president of Arkansas State House Society, and vice president of Arkansas Volunteer Association, just to name a few.
Harris served over the past few years as the executive director of his own youth nonprofit, “Ikarus Youth Outreach Program." They have left footprints around the city of Little Rock and surrounding communities.
Ikarus stands for “Intelligent, Kind, Adolescents, Representing Us” and is for youth ages 7-17. The focus of the organization is education, community service, public speaking, leadership, health/financial literacy, and cultural awareness. The hard work of helping those in need has not gone unnoticed as Ikarus has received awards from Black Men Empowerment, Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, African American Coalition, Creative Minds, and Pine Bluff Image Awards.
We asked Harris to respond to the following questions.
Why did you apply to the LeadAR program? What motivated you?
I was impressed with the success and longevity of the program. The current pandemic demonstrates the need for leaders in our communities to provide resources, network, and help rebuild and make our economy stronger.
What leadership quality do you admire most in others? Why?
Self-awareness. One of the most important characteristics of a business leader is self-awareness, and the ability to understand your own strengths and weaknesses.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Why is this surprising?
People are always surprised that I am from Pine Bluff. I guess because of the activity and commitment to Little Rock and community they just assume I am from Little Rock. I am truly invested to both Little Rock and my hometown of Pine Bluff.
What are your top three ingredients necessary for success?
Determination, purpose, confidence
What are your top three ingredients necessary for happiness?
Health and energy, peace of mind, loving relationship
Describe your personal leadership style.
I identify with the transformation leadership style. Transformational leadership is when a leader’s behavior influences followers and inspires them to perform beyond their perceived capabilities. Transformational leadership inspires people to achieve unexpected or remarkable results.
What is something you hope to gain from your LeadAR experience?
I hope to gain a better understanding of the political sector and improve knowledge of agriculture in areas outside of the Delta.
How can effective leadership help move the state of Arkansas forward?
Effective leadership can identify resources, businesses, and ways to strengthen the economy. It can help find ways to decrease homelessness, the unemployment rate, and find ways to improve our education system.
You are stranded on a desert island. What are your three MUST HAVE items?
Water, collection of USA Today newspapers, food
What else do you want others to know about you?
I am grant writer, motivator, and self-motivated entrepreneur. I am truly honored to be in this class with some amazing people.
LeadAR is a program designed to help Arkansans broaden their understanding of issues and opportunities facing our state and strengthen their ability to make a difference. For more information about LeadAR, visit the website or contact Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lisa Davis, email@example.com.