Transformational Leadership When Needed Most

This week has been one of the craziest in my life and the lives of many others. It was apparent to me that my supervisor had also been affected by the jailing’s of many protestors, a movement occurring both in the City of Chicago as well as all of the United States. Despite the chaos all around us, my supervisor took on a role as a transformational leader; a leader that, according to Bass, “drives organizational change because of followers’ heightened emotional levels and their willingness to work toward the accomplishment of the leader’s vision”. As a civil rights lawyer, my supervisor has been arguing against issues seen in our current climate for his entire career, and he is helping to encourage me to do the same.

By offering me a book suggestion, I was able to read and discuss in depth my opinions, arguments, emotions, and action steps with my supervisor. It was not business as usual, but how can we do our part to make the world a better place. I felt lucky to be a part of an environment that focuses on what is right, before the small things the law firm had to accomplish.

Bass has 4 tenets of transformational leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. I think in this example, my supervisor has done an outstanding job at education me about the situation at hand, and how that situation affects the career we are working in together. He has shown his leadership skills to me through the things he has done. In this situation, he has set goals for me to act in a way that will consistently support the Black Lives Matter movement for days to years ahead. He has encouraged new thinking in me with the media and books suggested, and finally, he has given me personalized support and understood the intense feelings that come with this nation-wide movement. My supervisor has been a true transformational leader in these trying times.


Banks, G. C., McCauley, K. D., Gardner, W. L., & Guler, C. E. (2016). A meta-analytic review of authentic and transformational leadership: A test for redundancy. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(4), 634-652.