Transformational Leadership in Transactional Times: Leading in the New Appalachia

Track: Brent Hutchinson

Leading a process of change in the New Appalachia is no small task. To community servants concerned with able leadership, practical questions seem principal. However, such questions pale in comparison to the matters of what the good life, the goals of human flourishing, conjure in a region like central Appalachia, fragmented and disjointed due to responses to what Ron Eller has identified as “the structural problems that have historically burdened Appalachia: specifically, land distribution and use, political corruption, environmental exploitation, income inequality, and economic dependency.” These lofty issues and the broadly targeted responses of leadership in this day require people and solutions nothing short of transformational. Transformational leaders possess an unmatched opportunity to lead lasting, substantive change in the New Appalachia rather than simply responding to the transactional approaches utilized by so many before the times in which we live.

This workshop will take a look at higher level leadership among our Appalachian communities, what it takes to understand personal leadership and our impact within our spheres of influence, and demonstrate modes of thinking and planning which yield possibilities of change among complex problems and issues.

Who Should Attend?

Administrators or executives that work for organizations with annual budgets above $250,000.

While some contextual information about leadership will be provided, those with little to no exposure may feel lost—this class is likely for intermediate to advanced workshop participants. That said, this workshop is for community leaders of all stripes and positions. From the mayor to the nonprofit director to the community apprentice, the potential of transformational leadership for lasting change is something to be considered and cultivated across sectors and up and down any organizational structure.

What Can I Expect to Learn?

Participants will understand differences between management and leadership, as well as gain insight into why leadership matters in our Appalachian context. Moreover, participants will explore the rationale behind a personal philosophy of leadership which helps drive and define the leader’s activity within their leadership circles. Finally, leaders will walk away with leadership processes that will help them begin to address problems they are experiencing, inspiring others around them to claim ownership in both the problem and the solutions for change.

Track Limit: 40 

Brent Hutchinson became the seventh director of the historic Hindman Settlement School in 2012. Brent has a BA in Social Science from Morehead State University, a MS in Family Studies/Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Dallas Baptist University, with a special interest in servant, public, and cultural leadership. Brent has twenty years of experience in educational, institutional, and community settings and has worked in the nonprofit sector most of his career.