Theories in Action

Transformational Leadership in Action at Truth Initiative

Today marked the end of the second week of my internship at Truth Initiative. In this short amount of time, I have already observed transformational leadership exhibited by various individuals within the organization. Transformational leadership involves “establishing oneself as a role model by gaining followers’ trust and confidence. Transformational leaders state future goals develop plans to achieve those goals, and innovate, even when their organization is generally successful” (Bass 1985, 1998, as cited in Eagly and Carli, 2004, p. 285). Additionally, “by mentoring and empowering followers, such leaders encourage them to develop their full potential and thus to contribute more effectively to their organization” (285). Transformational leadership first became evident to me during my first week on the job, at the organization’s full staff meeting. Through a Zoom webinar, the company’s CEO spoke about the plans to continue remote work until further notice. This transparency, combined with words of encouragement about the company’s progress during these unprecedented times, presumably helps employees maintain their trust in her and the organization, as well as boosts their confidence about their work. Her dialect throughout the webinar made it evident that she encourages her employees to develop to their full potential. Additionally, this afternoon, I witnessed another example of transformational leadership. I had a Zoom meeting to check-in with my initial point of contact at the organization, who also happens to be the chief of the department in which I’m interning. Over the course of our meeting, we discussed my internship experience thus far, but we also talked about miscellaneous topics, unrelated to work. For example, we talked about TV shows and books that we’ve both been enjoying during this time of quarantine. This meeting/conversation reflects transformational leadership in that it reveals mentorship and empowerment. Rather than writing me of as just a summer intern, she made an effort to get to know me better. It was refreshing to know that even though she isn’t my direct supervisor, she is really looking out for me and she wants me to get the most out of my internship experience. This conversation I had today definitely gives me the confidence to tackle new tasks that will come my way in the weeks to come.


Carli, L.L. & Eagly, A. H. (2012) Leadership and Gender.  In Day, D.V. & Antonakis, J.  The Nature of Leadership, Chapter 13, pp 437- 476.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage.