Blog post 2: Leader/ Follower Relationships
A lot has had to change within Antrim Grace Solution given the circumstances related to COVID. Before the pandemic, AGS’s founders would always meet face to face with their clients. They would hold fundraisers and in person meetings with senators and candidates for public office. As they provide themselves on being a small, boutique consulting firm, face to face communication is unique to their company as they have the ability to do so. As I stated in a previous blog post, AGS promotes several values such as face to face (or video call in this case) constant communication, and the idea that we all work together. Since COVID, this in person interaction has been eliminated and everything is conducted by group video calls.
In regard to how work is structured in AGS, we work as a big team. Everyone has different tasks that they sign up for, whether they are long term, short term or ongoing. These tasks can be with a group of people, or by yourself. For example, I have written several blog posts by myself ranging from topics of biomass to different voting methods. But, I am also working on two projects with several other interns that are longer term as they are creating an Onboarding Packet for AGS, and revamping their website.
All the work is self- directed, but before we start each project we meet with the head of that project (one of the founders) to gain background of it and more understanding as to what we will be doing and why. All the employees (or interns in this case) are autonomous and self-directed. We have an outline of what the project is, but it is up to us for how we want to complete it and the style in which we do it in. Besides there being a timeline, there are no formal standardized procedures that we must follow, besides meeting the founder’s expectations. Since we are a small group, we make centralized decisions. We decide what is best for each of us to work on and work towards our strengths. We collaborate on times to video call, and all communicate on what we are working on during our weekly company zooms. The Founders look towards us, the interns, for our input and what we believe is most beneficial for AGS and their clients.
Since we are such a small group, there is not much of a distinction between the leadership styles of individuals at various levels in the organization. The Founders/ Managing Partners run the meetings and set goals in which we must meet, but as interns who are not in formal leadership roles, we are (luckily) given the opportunity to have influence on others in the organization. The Managing Partners welcome our ideas and opinions and look to us for advice as well. They made it clear in the beginning of the internship that they value our input and hope that we feel comfortable enough to share with them any ideas that we have, or any suggestions that we believe could better the group.
AGS has had to change the way they communicate with clients as well. As stated before, they pride themselves on the personal interactions that they have with companies. However, we have transitioned to a virtual approach since much of what we can do is limited. For example, earlier this week (on Wednesday), we held a fundraiser called Take Back the Senate in which WinDEM is holding a five-part fundraising series for “battleground” states. We had hoped that this would have been in person, but this was yet just another one of the structural changes that occurred due to COVID.