RT Vol XV: CH 9
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XV: Non Profits: Strategies for Effective Management


Globally, nonprofit leaders expand their influence through networks. Within the United States, leaders have used various leadership styles to develop social networks with poor results. The literature lacks relational leaders’ experiences regarding network development. The researcher used an exploratory qualitative approach to answer the research question, what are U.S. leaders’ experiences with relational leadership in developing global social networks? This study consisted of relational leadership theory (RLT) that provided the theoretical foundation at the individual and collective levels. Social network analysis aided with the identification and the recruitment of 10 leaders with advanced degrees, global influence across six continents, and an average of 30 years of leadership experience. Using the thematic data analysis process, the following themes emerged: (a) networks describing the context; (b) key network relationships, key traits of spiritual family members and organizational impacts of emerging leaders; (c) leadership network development, trust investment, accountability management, and global movement creation; (d) network influence, shape and enhance the network, and (e) network leadership influence, develop the family identity, foster an environment of trust and achieve kingdom goals. These findings yielded new insights at the individual and collective levels of RLT that provide leaders with a spectrum of actions to develop global networks, internally. Building on these new insights, I plan to conduct further research exploring the environment, external to the network, and the interaction with the network from a nonprofit leader perspective.
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