Transformational Leadership

As my internship comes to an end, I have seen several great leadership styles. As I spoke about in my last blog post, both Heidi and Sam are both relationship-oriented leaders and care a significant amount about their interns. However, it has also become clear that both Sam and Heidi are transformational leaders. The founders mobilized us as well as taught us new skills that we could use in future jobs. As Bernard Bass sates, transformational leaders achieve change and are productive because their workers feel emotional connections to them and the information they are producing. Therefore, their “willingness to work toward the accomplishment of the leader’s vision” is very high. These leaders do not rely on rewards or punishments, “but instead increase overall motivation of their followers through charismatic intervention and by forming strong positive relationships with their followers and setting realistic goals”. Both Heidi and Sam motivated us to do the best work we could and were successful because they both encompassed the 4 I’s of transformational leadership. The four I’s are: idealized influence, inspirational motivations, intellectual stimulation and individual considerations. Heidi was extremely charismatic and both Sam and Heidi emphasized trust between them and the other interns. They spoke about AGS’s values and empathized the importance of them and the importance of the work that we were doing. Despite some of our work being very difficult, I never lost my drive. After seeing how hard both the founders work each day, I was inspired to keep going. During our weekly check-ins, they both spoke optimistically and inspired us. I was constantly stimulated intellectually as I had to work up to their standards and reach the difficult goals that they expected us to achieve.  Each new project that I work on introduces me to new ways of thinking, along with new information about policy changes and research. Finally, both Heidi and Sam set up mentorship meetings with each of the interns once a month (three in total) so we could have a one-on-one session with them and ask them for any advice or information that they have to offer. This was the last of the four I’s; individualized consideration. They gave personal attention to each of their interns to ensure that we received as much as possible out of this internship. These leaders have continued to make my experience at AGS extremely beneficial and enjoyable.