David M.I. McLean is a 2014 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

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Organizational storytelling was used within Tri Fit, a Canadian health promotion and fitness company, to explore relational leadership practices. Through 27 confidential one-on-one interviews and an interview of the four-person leadership team, the research attempted to examine how relational agility, a new leadership construct, exists, how it is defined, and to describe its organizational impacts. Two hundred and forty unique stories were shared through this process, out of which nine storylines emerged. The distillation of these revealed three cultural themes: a culture of relational connection; a culture of nice and a culture that values positivity. Demonstrations of transformational leadership, authentic leadership, aesthetic leadership, emotional and social intelligence, servant leadership and stewardship were frequent amongst many of its members. Four leaders were described by their colleagues as being relationally agile, as demonstrated through the application of a unique collection of relational qualities. This research has also established evidence that relational agility can be learned, and when present, confers positive benefits to the organization including enhanced loyalty, commitment and productivity. Developing relationally agile leaders will therefore likely serve organizations as they navigate change. Furthermore, this may be the first empirical description of relational leadership as a triadic experience where the relationship is personified as a unique product of leader and follower co-development that ultimately serves the higher purposes of the organization. The electronic version of this dissertation is at OhioLink ETD Center, This dissertation is accompanied by two mp4 video files


David McLean is a management consultant and executive coach at Soulzatwork, a division of T.S.C. Inc. ( focused on assisting clients as they navigate organizational change. With over 25 years of corporate and public sector experience within both start-ups and global multinationals, David has unique insight into the challenges faced in organizations today. David’s research interests in relational leadership inform his practice and his approach to systemic organizational challenges. His areas of expertise include Strategic Business Development, General Management, Organizational Development, Sales and Marketing and Executive Coaching.

Recently, David left his position as Vice President, Sales and Marketing for a health services division of Zurich Insurance to pursue a consulting career. Prior to his time at Zurich, David held executive roles in general management, business development and marketing with a number of medical and health services companies in Canada.

David has been an active board member with a number of Provincial and National charitable organizations, is a trained coach, a published author on the subject of leadership and authenticity, and currently is on faculty at the Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University in Toronto. David holds a B.Sc. from the University of Lethbridge, an M.Sc. and an M.B.A. from the University of Manitoba and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.

Media_Clip_1.01_Introduction.mp4 (32678 kB)

Media_Clip_6.01_Relational_Agility_Animation.mp4 (10642 kB)
Relational Agility Animation