66 min
By: ENC Leaders

Episode 25: Tensions: Task-oriented and People-oriented

The vast majority of leadership decisions are often judgment calls. They are not strictly adhering to one rule or another, or following a series of steps. Rather, they are judgment calls that depend on your context. In this episode we will look at another tension that every leader should wrestle with: task-orientedness or people-orientedness.

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3:14 Today, we are going to talk about another tension which is about being task-focused and people-focused. 


Getting things done.

The tendency to overfunction, burn out.

The tendency to not delegate and just finish the task by yourself. 

11:40 “Rest becomes just another step towards work, not a thing to enjoy in itself.” 

On the other hand, there are people who care so much about people (People-focused) without keeping in mind the task that has to be done.

12:20 “A Spirit-led leader will maintain the tension of accomplishing the objective while developing the people.”

13:18 There are two extremes:

  1. Extreme task-focused  
  • A person who gets the job done but in the process leave people wounded, exhausted, burnt out 
  • This extreme is not Christ-like
  1. Extreme people-focused
  • “I don’t care about the production”, “I don’t care about accomplishing the goal, I just care about my people’s comfort or happiness.” 
  • Caring for people but are not able to get the work done

15:55 Both of these extremes are wrong. These are clues that we need to unlock these tensions, these are not just tensions that we need to maintain. On the left hand, I’m holding on to the tak (getting things done), and on the right hand I’m holding on to the people (developing them). They are not just two tensions to maintain. They actually feed one another. How so?

Accomplishing the task, if it’s the right task and done in a godly way, is one of the most developing things I can do for the people I lead. And developing the people I lead, letting them rest or letting them have a full life, is one of the most powerful ways of accomplishing the task.

So, how do we maintain these tensions?

19:46 Kriscel: What really helps me (maintaining the tension) is to always remind myself of “Why do we do what we do?” In the same way, reminding them (the students) about the vision of honoring God and making disciples. And honoring God goes both ways:  finishing the task well, honoring God with everything that you do, and resting as well. So, it’s really mirroring to the students that I do work a lot and I want to get things done but rest is also valuable and it is part of what we are called to do.

23:12 Jello: I imagined it as a quadrant. One quadrant is low trust (higher micromanaging), high accountability. The other quadrant is high trust, low accountability. Another quadrant is low trust, low accountability, a toxic working environment. But what we want is high trust with high accountability. That’s the ideal but we don’t live in an ideal world… The question is, how should a leader determine when to step it up a notch? (challenging the team, asking for accountability, when do you come down harder, when do you loosen up)

25:56 Ptr. Joe: Yung mindset natin na, if I give my team a break, it’s not bad. And I think we can accept that because they will come back and do a better job and it’s good for them also. The other mindset that I find many people struggle with is the idea that work is also good for your team members, it will help them develop… Like Kriscel, you don’t want to baby people too much… because you believe what these people are capable of… That’s something my dad taught me in leadership. I asked him before “Pop, how can you even fire people? Don’t you feel bad for them?” And here’s what he said.

“Joseph, every person has been designed by God to do work in some way or another.”

That’s one of the most fulfilling things for a human being to be contributing, to be carrying weight and helping something.

28:30 How should a leader determine when to step it up a notch?

ANSWER: There is actually no rule but it is really a judgment call. But there are some things that we should check as leaders.

  1. Check yourself.
  • Know your tendencies before you jump to conclusions.
  1. Know your team.
  • The right people would want to be held accountable. A person who doesn’t want to be held accountable, you probably don’t want to be that person to be part of your team. 

58:19 Ptr. Joe: Task oriented or people oriented, a leader cannot be driven by our personality. We must be driven by an eye on the team and an eye on the goal. Those are reconciled in God… “What God is asking me to do?” And He will speak to us… The Holy Spirit will guide us… Ask God how we can do both. 

59:30 Jello: It’s good to remember that as leaders, we are called to launch people towards their calling and destiny in life. Part of that is taking care of their well-being and developing them to be competent workers in whatever field they may be in. For task-oriented people, it’s good to ask:

“What’s driving your desire to produce results?”

For people-oriented people:

“How can you use your people skills and your empathy to generate results?”

“What is also driving your being people-oriented?” (Ptr. Joe added)

1:01:58 Kriscel: For people like me who are task-oriented, who have the tendency to take on the tasks themselves… It’s good to think about where the fear is coming from and to bear in mind that we are giving opportunities for people to grow in their God-given skills and talents… 

“…knowing that when we do the task, when we do the work in the Kingdom, it also builds people who will be Kingdom-movers and nation-changers”

Processing Questions:

  1. As a leader, where do you tend to lean more into: being task-oriented or people-oriented? What drives you to focus more on that side?
  2. How do managing these tensions help you grow as a leader to develop your team members?

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