Relationship vs. Task Oriented Leadership

After reviewing the article Six Personality Traits of a Leader by Ram Charan I found that the article reflected a task-oriented leadership action. “A task-oriented leader is primarily motivated by task accomplishment” (Daft, R.L.), while “A relationship-oriented leader is concerned with people” (Daft, R.L.). The article covered some great trairs that leaders should focus on however many of the traits listed where task dependent. Ram Charan describes on of the most important traits of a leader is “A desire to achieve something visible and noteworthy propels individual leaders and their companies” (Charan, R.). This characteristic that Charan points out is based on a task-oriented leadership style. Even though it is important for leaders to be ambitious and achieve great feats, completing the task isn’t always the pinnacle attribute of leadership. In many cases the process of completing a task is more important than finishing it.

Not addressing the relationships that are needed to make a leader a “leader” is the main flaw in Charan’s article. No one man or woman can claim that their leadership is singly owed to themselves. “Leadership involves creating change, not maintaining the status quo. In addition, the changes sought are not dictated by leaders, but reflect purposes that leaders and followers share” (Daft, R. T.). A leader has to have followers and others taking action. Neglecting the relationships that are needed for a leader to implement his talents is nothing without people willing to follow. Understanding that there are task to be completed is vital for leaders. However, if a leader does not spend the time creating relationships and bonds between his or her followers their will be no one to help complete the task. If a leader cannot guide the people around him then there is little if any hope to complete tasks.

Daft, R. L. (2008). The Leadership Experience (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western. ISB

13: 9780324539684

Charam, R. (2007) Six Personality Traits of a Leader; Who Perform from Those Who Don’t. Retrieved from http://career-advice.monster.com/leadership-skills/management/Six-Personality-Traits-of-a-Leader/home.aspx (July 13, 2008).

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