UACES Facebook LeadAR Class 20 Explores Leadership Theories
skip to main content

LeadAR Class 20 Explores Leadership Theories

by Daniel Phillips, State Surveyor, Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services - June 28, 2023

LeadAR Class 20 Zoom Meeting

Daniel PhillipsDaniel Phillips, State Surveyor at the Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services, volunteered to reflect on the first LeadAR Class 20 virtual seminar.

On June 23, 2023, LeadAR 20 members met virtually to discuss an important topic: leadership theories.

Dr. Steve Siegelin started us off on leadership theory. He asked us to share what we considered characteristics of a good leader. Overall, students believed good leadership must include effective communication, selflessness, and leading by example. Students also shared what they considered ineffective leadership characteristics. These leaders can be one-uppers, micromanagers, and self-centered.

Siegelin then challenged us to develop a theory of philosophy of leadership. We accomplished this in small breakout groups and then presented it to the entire class. Here are the leadership philosophies the groups created.

Group 1

Leadership has transitioned.

Traditional: Hard charge at all costs

Transactional and Transformational: Switches case to case. Both can fit depending on the situation and individuals.

Leader/Member Exchange: Flexible relationships between leader/team member based on trust between leader and member. Relations can evolve. Considers team member strengths, communication, and abilities.

Leadership Principle: Develop others. Are others out of their depth? Opportunity to grow (with help). Growth needs to be on both sides. Give grace, give guidance, effort.

Strengths: humble, direct, engaged, helping with work, leading with ideas, lending strengths, allowing others to grow.

Overdone: Lack of confidence, arrogant, distant/distracted, micromanaging, not considering other ideas, ignoring team member strengths/skills, stifling growth, and lack of support.

Group 2

Leadership Theory: The spectrum of leadership (How do I view myself as a leader? )

Customer Service Mindset, Communication - Active Listener - Adaptability - Delegation -Investment in our People – Visionary

Group 3

Leadership quote

Transcendent Leadership Theory is to empower, inspire, transcend.

“Transcendent Leadership Theory emphasizes the need for leaders to be intentional and self-aware, striking a balance between strength, initiative, and decisiveness, while embodying integrity, humility, flexibility, and vulnerability. This theory recognizes the importance of leaders understanding their own limitations, acting with ethical principles, and remaining open to change and new ideas. By embracing intentional self-awareness and integrating these qualities, leaders can inspire and empower their teams, creating a positive and transformative impact within their organizations.”

We also asked ChatGPT what our leadership style's theme song would be. It said, “The theme song for this leadership style could be "Rise Up" by Andra Day. The empowering lyrics and uplifting melody of the song resonate with the essence of Transcendent Leadership, inspiring leaders to embrace their strengths, overcome challenges, and lead with integrity, humility, and vulnerability. The song encourages individuals to rise above adversity and make a positive impact, aligning perfectly with the core principles of Transcendent Leadership Theory.”

I Am Exercise

Emily Smith made us all think extra hard with the “I am” exercise. As one student put it, “It’s easy to describe someone else, but you have to think harder when describing yourself."

Smith instructed us to list as many self-descriptors as possible and then reflect on these in small breakout groups.  

All of us enjoyed getting to reconvene with our wonderful classmates and instructors. As per usual, LeadAR staff Dr. Julie Robinson and Lisa Davis made sure all the pieces came together flawlessly. We very much look forward to the in-person meeting next month in Hot Springs to cover infrastructure and public health.

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,, or Lisa Davis,