Leadership Theory at Work

@jwolpers via Unsplash

As leadership theory has evolved, there is a commonality that has continued over time: virtually every theory has characteristics that are task-oriented and those that are relationship-oriented. Although the specific language changes with each theory, the dichotomy still exists. Every single major leadership theory, except servant leadership, has this dual-sided set of characteristics.

Task-oriented characteristics have been described as unidirectional, providing order, consistency, and structure, setting goals, defining roles.

Relationship-oriented characteristics have been described as multidirectional, building trust, nurturing, motivating, and asking for input.

Source: Leadership: Theory and Practice 8th Edition by Peter G. Northouse (ISBN: 9781506362311)

Why do these theories matter? How do you translate these characteristics into practical knowledge?

Being a fully developed leader means being aware of and proficient at both task-oriented and relationship-oriented activities. It’s why being organized will help you strengthen your ability to engage in task-oriented activities and find time in your day that can be used to build and strengthen relationships. You can lead with flexibility without sacrificing collegiality.

--

--

--

Analyst. Alchemist. Artist. Helping businesses optimize their performance. www.how-optimize.com

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Lose the boss & red tape.

How Embracing Remote Work has Brought our Global Team Closer Together

How to cultivate great culture within your team

Building Internal Strategic Capability: The New Normal for Strategy Consulting.

A Person’s Character Is the Foundation of Great Leaders

Pop-up preconference: Engagement in the time of COVID-19

Leadership’s Most Critical Skill

10 Ways to Boost Strategic Innovation Opportunities

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Carrie Collins

Carrie Collins

Analyst. Alchemist. Artist. Helping businesses optimize their performance. www.how-optimize.com

More from Medium

Embracing Mistakes

Are Likable Leaders Really Effective Leaders?

Lack of Follow Up is a Lack of Leadership

Why Mental Health is Crucial for Leaders