The present paper reports the findings of a study examining the influence of religion on business leaders. In the literature, spirituality and leadership have been considered in significantly different ways. Many links between the two are proposed but are not evident in the analysis of the leadership characteristics, nor from the limited amount of research. The study involved thirteen influential Sri Lankan business leaders drawn from Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim faiths. The findings suggest that role modelling played a significant role in participants' leadership. The study provides early empirical evidence of the influence of religion on business leaders in a religiously plural and Asian research setting. The paper concludes by identifying several future research issues particularly in authentic/pseudo transformational leadership styles.