Rowan van Dyk, Relational Leadership authority, Best-Selling author and aProfessional Speaker.
Rowan van Dyk, Relational Leadership authority, Best-Selling author and aProfessional Speaker.

The death of relational leadership

Rowan van Dyk
An employee's labour dispute with a local organisation was highlighted in a recent article that served as a powerful reminder of how important it is for corporate conduct and relational leadership to overlap. The facts, as they stand - accurate or not - present a disturbing picture: An organisation supposedly avoiding its legal and moral responsibilities.

This incident highlights an ugly truth: People perceive that some businesses exploit their employees' basic rights and decency, and the law. Regardless of the accuracy of the facts, the account casts a dark cloud over relational leadership and the importance of building meaningful relationships at work.

The building block of modern organisational success is relational leadership, which is based on mutually beneficial engagement, respect and trust. Leaders should set a good example by being honest, open and concerned about their team's well-being. The trust and respect that relational leadership aims to establish are undermined when a business uses loopholes, as claimed in the report, possibly to avoid legal obligations.

Such behaviours have numerous harmful consequences. If employees see that legal rules and the welfare of colleagues are being completely disregarded, they may start to feel devalued and insecure. This can have the opposite effect of what is desired - a positive organisational culture - by lowering morale, decreasing productivity and creating a hostile work environment. If these disagreements are made public, they can permanently damage a company's reputation, which in turn makes it harder to recruit and retain top staff and strains relationships with partners and clients.

Relational leadership in action

When considering other approaches, the foundational concepts of relational leadership provide the key. Instead of disguising the issue, the corporation might have been open and honest about it and worked with everyone involved to find a solution. By confronting the dispute directly and upholding the arbitrator's ruling, it might have shown accountability rather than allegedly dodging its responsibilities.

The public may not have access to all of the facts of the case, but the perceived actions teach all company executives a crucial lesson. A leader's dedication, honesty and regard for the law and the rights of individuals are required to practice relational leadership and to build meaningful relationships in the workplace. When it comes to relational leadership, companies should keep in mind that actions speak louder than words. Depending on what they do, they can leave a legacy of distrust and suspicion or one of trust and respect.


Allgemeine Zeitung 2024-04-19

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