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Relational Leadership

Key Idea

The relational leader emphasizes positive relationships with his or her followers; while the task-at-hand is important, the qualities of the leader in working with the group is equally (if not more) important.

Book to Reference

Exploring Leadership for College Students Who Want to Make a Difference
by Susan Komives, Nance Lucas, and Timothy McMahon (1998)

Quick Take from the Book

Relational leaders understand that productivity can be affected by how well the needs of the group members are met, so the leader places an emphasis on getting those needs met to increase productivity and team cohesion. The relational leader also emphasizes and reinforces the guiding values of the group, especially the importance of behavioral integrity.

The foundational principles of relational leadership includes:

  • Leadership is a concern to all of us.
  • Leadership is viewed and valued differently in all cultures.
  • Conventional views of leadership are changing.
  • Leadership can be exhibited in many ways.
  • Leadership committed to ethical action is needed to encourage change and social responsibility.
  • Leadership quality and skills can be learned and developed.

Quote of Note

"Through collaboration with others, you can make a difference from any place within a group or organization, whether as the titled leader or as an active member." 
— The Practice of Adaptive Leadership

Related Styles: Primal Leadership, Authentic Leadership 

Return to List of Leadership Styles