The Importance of Human Agency

I think one of the most underrated theories in leadership is human agency. A leader’s ability to recognize followers as autonomous human beings, while also understanding their own power and enabling their followers creates powerful groups. From a leader’s perspective, they must analyze the needs of the group as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each follower.  A leader then needs to decide what tasks and goals need to be accomplished and who they have at their disposal to successfully take it on. This is also very empowering to followers, and it shows a sense of trust from a leader and at the same time allows them to continue to grow and therefore make the group stronger. Heidi and Sam did an outstanding job of making sure we all had a sense of agency over the summer. In terms of projects, we weren’t just given small assignments to help keep things moving. Heidi and Sam left a large number of internal projects as well as projects for clients on the table. For example, 3 of our interns worked on creating a brand-new client onboarding packet for AGS for the majority of the summer that Heidi and Sam plan on using ASAP. There were also a variety of blog posts done on a wide range of topics for many of the clients. On a personal level, I was tasked with completing a legislative recommendation report for the 2021 Virginia General Assembly that would be handed out to the delegates and senators by one of our largest clients. Heidi and Sam weren’t as concerned with holding our hands as much as they were about making us do important work for them as well as making us feel like we were contributing members to a team that was doing exciting work. I would say it really paid off for them because we all held ourselves accountable and created a lot of quality work. At the same time, by the end of the summer, we were all getting through work much quicker and being able to help with more advanced work and projects.

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