Transactional vs. Relational Leadership

October 6th, 2016 by Charis Hillman Brown

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13

Many a book has been written about the servant leadership Jesus modeled. He said in a famous verse, “…he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.” (Luke 22:26) But, what was so special about the way Jesus led His followers?

Ford Taylor is a leadership consultant who trains leaders of leaders, and is involved in community transformation in the state of Ohio. He teaches something called “transformational leadership.” Transformational leadership, (TL for short), is basically developing a relationship with someone to such an extent that they actually want to do whatever it is the leader is asking them to do. This is also called relational leadership.

Businesses and other organizations cite fewer problems, higher revenue, and much less turnover by employing his principles. Building relationship as being primary in leadership isn’t a new concept. Josh McDowell, the well-known youth leader and apologist has said, “Sharing truth without relationship leads to rejection. Discipline without relationship leads to anger.”

Do you think the disciples wanted to follow Jesus? Nobody was making them follow Him. In fact, Jesus didn’t even pay them! Through His relationship with the disciples, Jesus was able to change their minds about a lot of things, including who He was. He was king of the Jews, even though He wore no crown, had no castle, and had no horse to ride upon. But, He developed such a relationship with the disciples that they would have followed Him anywhere, and they would have died for Him. Many did die for Him, after they realized who He was and He had done for them. It really was quite profound.

Is relational leadership something you employ? Think about ways you can motivate those you serve by being more focused on building relationship.

Share |