Evolving Leadership Models and Relationships in Organizations


Leadership involves influencing people by changing their minds. There are different leadership and management styles which are based on different theories and assumptions of leadership. The styles adopted for different situations and by different leaders are chosen due to different factors including beliefs and values of the leaders and the followers, culture of the organization and preferences on what one aims to achieve by using a given model (Dubrin, 2010. p. 123). This paper will discuss the various business leadership models in general and specifically highlight the similarities and differences between spiritual and relational models.

The transformational model is the process in which the leaders and the followers act to check and balance each other’s moral values. In addition, working as a group is seen as a better option and the followers are assumed to follow the leader who is in a higher moral position. This model also assumes that people will follow a person who inspires them, who has a great passion and vision and believes that the way to get things done is by introducing enthusiasm and energy (Xenitelis, 2009). According to Northouse (2010, p. 302), “the components of transformational leadership which are: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual simulation and individualized consideration are related to leadership effectiveness.”

The servant first model of leadership is based on the feeling that one wants to serve first, and then make a conscious choice to lead others. This kind of leadership prioritizes on people by making sure that their needs are met. If the people being served become healthier, wiser, freer and more likely to be servants themselves, the model is said to be working (Greenleaf, 2008). These kinds of leaders may not hold leadership positions but they bring about group work, trust, ethics and empowerment to their followers.

Spiritual leadership is a servant leadership or a form of leadership where the leader leads not by giving orders but by working together with the followers. According to Spiritual Leadership (2010), “spiritual leadership involves humbling oneself and doing the tasks that no one else wants to do.” This kind of leadership enforces conformity because people follow you out of their own will and not because they have to. People prefer to follow a person who works with them setting examples (Spiritual Leadership, 2010). It entails creation of a vision which acts as a sense of calling and then establishing a social culture based on love with a sense of membership.

Relational leadership model guideline states that the effectiveness of a leader is directly proportional to the ability of the leader to create and maintain good relationships within the organization. It is about the relationships we have with ourselves and other people around us.

Comparison between spiritual and relational models

The comparison shows that in both models the leader follower relationship is very important. They both depend on the harmony and synchronization of their followers and leaders. This in the spiritual model can be accomplished by the use of the vision which acts as the group’s source of calling (International Institute for Spiritual Leadership, 2010). In the relational model the success of the leader is equated to the degree he can form relationships in the organization. This shows the important of relationships in these groups (Switzer, 2010).

Trust is another thing that the two models have in common. The leaders using the two models must have the cohesive force that allows for quicker and easier achievement of the organizations mission and vision. This is achieved through integrity and honesty in the spiritual model whereas in the relational model, it is through being trustworthy (Switzer, 2010).

They both have a vision that guides them in the day to day running of the organizations. In the spiritual model, the vision gives the followers a sense of calling, while in the relational model the vision helps to shape the organization by showing the leaders and the followers what to do in particular instances (Switzer, 2010).

These two models have a close relationship with their followers. In the spiritual model, leadership influences spiritual well-being as an individual or a group as they jointly develop a common vision. The relational model also has close relationships not only with the followers but also with all the individuals in an organization. These involve relationships with fellow leaders, self, followers, our vision, Stakeholders, and support network.

The spiritual model is based on a theory. This is where the followers are expected to act in a certain way once something superior to them is introduced. In this case, it is in form of a vision. The model has organizations that stand by them and use its characteristics to run their businesses. These include Timberland and the body shop manufacturing companies (International Institute for Spiritual Leadership, 2010)

The relational model is based on facts. It only seeks to exploit the human nature as a social being that once given the optimum conditions, will be at their productive best.

The two differ in that spiritual leadership is a servant one but the relational leadership is not.


The leadership models effectiveness change with the changes in the culture, vision, mission, beliefs and the values of the organisation and the followers. This makes some of these models more suited to deal with some specific cases more than others. The leader therefore has the duty to choose the model that will aid in the attainment of the vision in a particular environment.


Dubrin, A. (2010). Leadership: research findings, practice and skills. Ontario, Cengage learning. Web.

Greenleaf, K. (2008). What is Servant Leadership? Web.

International Institute for Spiritual Leadership. (2010). Spiritual Leadership Theory. Web.

Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and Practice. London, Sage Publications. Web.

Spiritual Leadership. (2010). Spiritual Leadership – A Biblical Model. Web.

Switzer (2010).The Seven Elements of Relational Leadership. Web.

Xenitelis, M. (2009). Discover the Secrets of Successful Leaders Who Transforms Organizations. Web.

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