Because Ripple Effect Images is a small non-profit based on strong core ethical values, it makes sense to me that transformational leadership is used within the organization (Bass & Avolio). My supervisor and the Executive Producer of the organization is a great example of transformational leadership, both in the way she interacts with me as an intern, and in the ways she works with the rest of the team. Although Ripple is very much a team-based organization where all members have a voice, Annie embodies her role as a leader within this team by possessing referent power, using intellectual stimulation, and using individualized consideration.
As an award-winning National Geographic photographer, Annie is an expert in the field of media on which Ripple Effect focuses the most. In this sense, other members of the Ripple team look up to her and authentically respect her perspectives on this subject. As a photographer myself, I aspire to create images as powerful as Annie’s and I look up to her as a role model in this sense. In this way, her followers want to emulate her skills. Additionally, her easygoing attitude, her humor and her genuine kindness add to Annie’c charisma and make it very easy to like and to want to be more like her.
In terms of intellectual stimulation, Annie is always trying to challenge her team members to be better. She is not afraid to provide critical feedback, and she does so in a way that shows she truly cares–not only about the organization, but about her followers as people. In our meetings, she has provided me articles, videos and books in order to stimulate my understanding of ethical photojournalism and improve my expertise in this area. She cares about all of her team members individually, especially because many of them are friends and family members, and she works with each person to help them develop to be the best that they can be. In this way, she also utilizes individualized consideration, providing resources, a listening ear and advice to her followers based on what they need personally.
These aspects of Annie’s transformational leadership help to tie the Ripple Effect team together, creating a cohesive group of people who authentically care about each other and our company’s mission. In this way, her leadership creates a bond within the team and raises us to a higher overall morality both as an organization and as individuals.