Lead Relactionally

In your organization, what happens when highly relational people collide with highly transactional people? What happens when people-oriented workers intersect with task-oriented workers? Stress? Anxiety? Anger? Gossip? Under-performance?

On one end of the relationship continuum are people who are highly relational. For these people, the relationship is the most important part of everything they do.

On the other end of the continuum are highly transactional people. For these people, It’s not usually that the relationship is not important to them; it’s just that getting the job done is far more important.

What would happen if highly relational people had the tools to become more transactional without giving up their natural inclination to be relational, and highly transactional people had the tools to be more relational without giving up their natural inclination for transaction. One of your primary jobs as a leader is to provide these “tools” to your people so they can get along well and get the job done well.

The main challenge in leading people with such diverse personality styles is that you also have a default style. But in order for your organization to perform at a high level, it’s not enough to rely exclusively on your default style of leadership. It is important to lead both relationally and transactionally. This is called Relactional Leadership.

Lead Relactionally

As you model this relactional approach, the people in your organization—whether two people or many—will become happier and more productive as a result. Relactional leaders produce relactional teams. They cultivate organizations in which the people get along well and get the job done well. In order for this transformation to start happening in your organization, it must begin with you, the leader.

Yes, you are a leader. If you have influence with at least one person, that makes you a leader. And when two or more people are in relationship, that makes them an organization.

The Tools, Ingredients, and Behaviors of a Relactional Leader

As I have traveled to many cities and countries around the world, I have found that nearly every person I meet is smart, gifted, or talented in at least one area—often, in multiple areas. I have also found that nearly every person I have met has a huge heart. So, years ago, I started asking myself, If so many people are smart, gifted, or talented and are also good-hearted, why are these not the sort of people we hear about in the media more often?

As I wrestled with this question, I began to realize that many have never been given the who, what, when, where, why and how of leadership. Most have been given the what, but few have been taught the practical tools and processes of effective leadership. I then realized that leadership is like baking a cake.

Baking a cake requires different ingredients, tools/utensils, and a recipe manual. Also, in the best-tasting cakes, there are many ingredients that don’t taste good on their own as well as others that do. But, for some reason, when they are mixed together in the right proportions in the right way and cooked at the right temperature, the cake tastes really good.

Many leaders have been taught how to manage people, yet few have been taught the practical tools, ingredients, and behaviors to lead people and manage processes, policies, systems, and procedures around them effectively. Relactional Leadership will help you to acquire these tools, ingredients, and behaviors needed to become a relactional leader who can develop teams that thrive relationally and transactionally.


Ford Taylor is leadership strategist, keynote speaker, and author of Relactional Leadership. As the Founder of Transformational Leadership, he is known as a man who can solve complex business issues, with straightforward practical solutions, while maintaining his focus on people. His career has taken him around the globe and continues to thrive on the foundations of interpersonal focus, agility, adaptability, and innovation required in today’s dynamic marketplace. Ford and his wife of 37 years, Sandra, live in College Station, Texas. They are blessed with three lovely daughters, Whitney, Emily, and Quincy.   Ford can be reached at ford@transformlead.com.

Transformational Leadership helps you identify, address and remove personal, team and process constraints. Removing these constraints allows transformation to occur and encourages healthy, trusting relationships to grow.

Hear more about Relactional Leadership from Ford Taylor on the Eternal Leadership Podcasthttps://eternalleadership.com/186/.