I believe that working for my boss at Miramar Traffic & Parking Signs, LLC has been a good example of Bass and Avolio’s transformational leadership theory at work. According to Bass, transformational leadership can be defined based on the impact that it has on followers, in which there is more offered than simply reward in the form of self-gain but also more vision and identity with a mission. So how has working at a small, start-up entrepreneurial business provided me with an inspiring, uplifting mission? I think the reason lies with my boss being my own father, one who I did not grow up with directly, but instead saw every other weekend and spent time with for half of the summer or more.
The decision to work at Miramar Traffic & Parking Signs, LLC was not simply because I was interested in working on building a new company almost from the ground up (i.e. excluding what my boss had already set up), but because I would be able to experience working with my father on something business-oriented for the first time (instead of something like cars or the yard which we have done in the past). This decision ties into transformational leadership because my boss was not simply your typical manager that might want the best for you but more than likely wants just what’s best for the business, whereas my boss wanted to not only teach me simple tasks and basic operations for the business but also instill a vision of hard work, critical thinking, and the need for achievement. Building a business takes an almost deceptively, incredible amount of effort, work, and also knowledge that one might not even have considered such as taxes information and how to constantly relationships with customers and suppliers.
Getting into the details, the transformational leadership theory has the 4 “I’s” or the factors that make a transformational leader, which include idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. I would consider the idealized influence to be the least impactful in my consideration for my boss/father being a transformational leader, as he has a lot of referent power regarding some of the business and he has some charisma but he did not really need it to inspire “devotion” in me because I am already his son. He did provide inspirational motivation, which I originally thought was simply in order to motivate me to help build the business, as that was the simple mutually desired goal, but I learned that he used emotional appeals to also try and make me understand the goal of growing me as a person through my work and responsibilities. My boss also provided intellectual stimulation with the learning and researching of different processes in the business, such as tax laws, accounting principles, and various programs. Lastly, there was plenty of individual consideration since we were working one on one on the business and with growing our personal views and vision for the future.