By David Chavez
Whether it be through school or out of my own will, from a very young age I have been participating in community service. I have participated in different forms of services such as helping at food banks, teaching children, and even organizing my own event for my Eagle Scout project. Personally, I have encountered, as well as used, different types of leadership and I would like to talk specifically about my experience with transformational leadership and the impact or effectiveness it had on me.
I performed my Eagle Scout project at Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, located in Los Angeles, where I was able to clean and remodel outside structures while also replacing parking and road signs in order to improve safety within the premises. AlthoughEagle Scout projects are never easy, I was able to grow both as a person and as a leader.
Transformational leadership focuses on a style in which the leader, along with his/her team, is able to identify the challenges ahead and build a long term plan for the team. One of the main aspects of transformational leadership is individual consideration. I was able to exemplify this through caring for the needs of every individual working on my project, whether it be from being open to new ideas such as how the work should be divided or performed, to something as simple as purchasing food for everyone.
Another aspect of transformational leadership is inspirational motivation and although it was tough, I was able to provide this aspect while working on my Eagle Scout project by creating a vision for my project and inspiring my family and friends, who acted as my team, to perform to the best of their abilities. I managed to do this because our service was at the church we attend; therefore, I was able to evoke the emotions of my team and not through simple rewards but because they believed in my vision for the project.
In regards to a transformational leadership style, idealized influence is another important aspect. Leaders who show idealized influence are exemplars for their team because they engage in high standards of ethical behavior. I was able to implement this aspect of transformational leadership because I set a clear example of the standards that needed to be met. Although some people preferred to take shortcuts in order to finish quicker, I decided against that because I knew that I wanted to show my best work possible. This method might have meant more work for the group and myself, but the final product would be something that we could all be proud of and because of this I gained more respect from my team.
This type of leadership is especially effective because it will allow them to achieve their goals without neglecting others, and the team will also be motivated not through rewards and punishments but because they truly believe in the vision of the leader.