DescriptionColleges and universities are being challenged to prepare students to become empowered leaders who know themselves as engaged, active participants in the creation of a future for society. Unfortunately some students are graduating from of our higher education institutions without having acquired the critical skills needed to navigate life with power. Some students are not getting sufficient opportunities for critical thinking, self-agency, and social action in the classroom. Without engaged and empowered learners, the future of education and society is at risk. This research inquires into the ontological/phenomenological course “Being a Leader and The Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model", how it might inform the transformational possibilities of individuals who engage in it, and how those individuals are creating futures for themselves and others that would not otherwise happen. This research positions this leadership course as an example of a pedagogical approach that might ignite transformational outcomes and reform American higher education. Employing autoethnography, participatory action research, and interviews, this study explores how the course contributes to the personal transformation, social action and institutional reform that the participants, including myself, pursue. It illuminates the transformational possibilities of this course from three perspectives: from my lived experience as both participant and observer, through a group of diverse women leaders (Women Leading Group), and through members of a learning community of college and university faculty (LECOLE: Learning Community for Ontological/Phenomenological Leadership). This study documents the possibilities that emerge when participants engage in an ontological leadership course that invites them to create futures that call for their leadership. This study postulates that the implementation of an ontological model in the classroom can be one key contribution to the development of students and educators and the reformation of American education. When educators and students are invited to examine who we are being as leaders in the classroom and the world, we are then better equipped to engage as citizens and agents of change. Collectively, we can renovate education and empower individuals from all walks of life who may then inform and create the future of American education and society.