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Managing Tasks or Leading People

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a leadership development program for a volunteer organization. My experience in most organizations is that leaders are spending too much time managing tasks and not nearly enough time leading people, and I’ve learned that it’s no different in this organization.

As a leadership consultant, I want to keep people focused on the impact strong leadership has on an organization. However, as I create this leadership development program, I’m constantly reminded that the management of tasks is a very real aspect of leadership. And since most people are promoted into leadership positions because of their knowledge and success within the business and not their proven ability to lead, most people stay where they are comfortable … managing tasks.

Management of the business is critical, but the best way to enhance the management of the business is through the strong leadership of the human resources around you. If you’re in a leadership position today, answer this question … are people following you because of your ability to manage the tasks necessary for the business to run, or are they following you because of your ability to inspire and lead them to accomplish things they didn’t know they could accomplish? When you can confidently say it’s a combination of both, you have achieved something pretty special as a leader, and you’ve enhanced the level of engagement within your organization.

Clint Swindall

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