I just completed my second week with Porter Isaac, a staffing and recruiting firm out of VA. This week, the theory in action I found my leader, Derick to be a transforming leader as described by Burns. I found in my first week that my leader genuinely cared about me as a follower and this has only evolved.
The theory of transforming leadership is composed of two elements, raising motivation and raising morality. I was pleasantly surprised to find my supervisor to be able to raise these two elements, amongst the chaos of COVID-19 and working remotely. I found Derick to raise my motivation by actively taking an interest in my life and treating me more as a member of the team, then just an intern for the summer. I could tell he was giving me work that he felt would benefit us both, rather just having me do busy work. By taking the time to get to know me and learn about my interests, he has been able to provide me with tasks that meet those interests. For example, I have shared an interest in opening my own business one day and being interested in the operations side of businesses. As a response, he has adapted his focus to fulfilling those needs and has provided me with insights into entrepreneurship from the start and will be focusing on operations week 3 and 4. This has motivated me because I am enjoying the work thus far and am continuing to look forward to the rest of my internship. Additionally, it has motivated me because I want to do great work for him because I believe in him and his mission.
As for mortality, I was curious to see how he would be able to raise this from a far but he has taught me an immense amount about the staffing and recruiting industry, about starting your own business, and the ins/outs of corporate America. He has conveyed the importance of doing the right thing and maintaining a good reputation, and when seeing injustice working to change it. For example, that is why he went out on his own, because he wanted to do something different and create a workspace where everyone feels safe and heard. His countless tips and advice have allowed me to learn further on how to navigate the job world after college while maintaining my morals. For example, when focusing on social media, we have spent lots of time analyzing the proper message we want to convey and what the brand represents.
I think this style of leadership has been very successful because it has demanded excellent work, a tight community, and a great reputation that is built on good morals.