The Four Factors of Transformational Leadership As Experienced in a Remote Setting

Last Tuesday (May 26), the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability team at Campbell had a meeting discussing all of the accomplishments that the team has made throughout the fiscal year. This meeting was fascinating to sit in on because it helped me better understand the scope of the work that my colleagues complete, while also revealing the challenges associated with their work. Throughout this meeting, the team leader, who is the VP of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, demonstrated transformational leadership, which she consistently has been exhibiting since I started working two weeks ago.

The transition to all-remote work was definitely an adjustment for the team from what I have observed, but at this point, I feel that they have all taken it in stride. The team remains committed to carrying out their work as best as they can, which is evident to me as I am in our weekly meetings. I think that this attitude can be attributed to the transformational leadership of the VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.

The four factors of transformational leadership are idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (Bass and Avolio 1993, 51-52). I believe that the VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability exhibits these factors and applies them to the leadership of our team every day.

Idealized influence involves followers identifying with and emulating leaders. Campbell’s VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability is a woman that I look up to. At our first one on one meeting, she gave me an overview of her life: where she grew up, where she has lived, worked, and where she went to college. From the start, she established her ethos as a sustainability leader and caring individual.

She exhibits inspirational motivation in every interaction that I have with her. She sets a positive example for the team and encourages us to set the bar high and provides meaning to our actions. She also shows genuine appreciation for our work.

The VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability encourages intellectual stimulation by raising questions and conveying important information in our meetings. She sends emails and posts content that allows the team to go further beyond their roles and stay educated on the corporate responsibility and sustainability field and the food industry.

Finally, the VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability gives each member of the team individualized consideration. She takes time to listen and respond to each member’s concerns, thoughts, and feelings. She has even taken the time out of her schedule to meet with me one on one every other week for the duration of my internship. This personal connection has elevated my learning/work experience at Campbell and will help contribute to my professional development immensely.

The transformational leadership exhibited by the VP Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability has created an atmosphere that I am excited to work in, and I continue to see her transformational leadership as I enter the third week of my internship experience.

Work Cited: Bass, B.M., & Avolio, B.J. (1993). Transformational leadership: a response to critiques. In Chemers,
M.M. & Ayman, R. (eds.), Leadership theory and research. San Diego: Academic Press. Chapter 3, pp. 49-80.