Leadership Approach: Task-Oriented or People-Oriented

Different types of leaders operate in different business. They have different approaches on how they rule and this depends on the kind of company that they are handling. It's not a one size fits all strategy. Here are some of the different types of leaders and how they act.

Autocratic Leadership. In this leadership, the leader holds authority and responsibility. They reach a decision, communicate them to subordinates, and they expect prompt implementation.

Democratic Leadership. Subordinates are part of the decision-making. The democratic leader holds final responsibility and still is responsible for delegating the tasks that need to be completed. It is one of the favoured leadership because of its fairness, competence and creativity.

Strategic Leadership. One that involves leadership who is necessarily the head of the organization. It is geared to a broader audience who want to create high performance.

Visionary Leadership. A type of leader that recognizes that methods, steps and processes are all obtained with and through people.

Task-Oriented Leadership. One that focuses on the task at hand and believes that procedures are necessary to achieve the mission. They are less concerned with the idea of accommodating to employees. They are technical and believe in a step by step solution to meet a specific goal. They are highly logical, analytical and have a strong understanding of how to get the job done by focusing on necessary workplace procedures.

People-Oriented Leadership. Treat all team members alike. Most of the leaders with this leadership are people-oriented, approachable, friendly and pay attention to the well-being within their group.

It is important to understand the difference between task-oriented and people-oriented leadership to decide which approach is more efficient based on our team's needs and goals that need to be accomplished. Let us understand further the difference between these two and define which is a more suitable leadership approach overall. 

Task-Oriented Leaders

With their leadership skills, a task-oriented leader is likely to review a days work through a prism of the task.


Communicate their goals quickly. Every project has goals and objectives. Clear goals are needed to motivate, achieve and better manage the project outcomes. Before communicating the goals, it is essential to communicate the intent accurately. In communicating goals, you need to convey the required information via a formal document or direct communication.

Communicate clear expectations. In achieving the goals, they need to know what exactly needs to be done. Provide structure to the team, set expectations and priorities.

Outline the task efficiently. Use organizational skills and prioritize task by always making a list. By knowing how you do your duty, you can increase productivity at your workplace and in your team.

Issue clear deadlines. Once you set goals, it is essential for you to issue clear deadlines for the purpose to keep moving. It is vital to check progress once in a while.

Delegate effectively. In a business or office set-up, a delegation is the most important and effective management skill. Without the ability to delegate, it is impossible to manage higher positions of responsibility.  

Achieving results. Is similar to being result oriented. The leader focuses on the outcome rather than the process used to deliver a result.


Show little regard for employee welfare. Since tasks need to be completed within the deadline, the welfare of the employee could be neglected, and the overall development of the employees are being set aside.

Create a tense work environment. While deadlines are sometimes needed, they could still create a stressful situation. Leaders tend to push more than what is expected.

Contribute to employee burnout. Deadlines are the most challenging part of a project. Sometimes, there are instructions made which makes an employee feel burned out.

People-Oriented Leaders

It brings a positive feeling, and it revolves around motivation. It is the leader that offers help to their people. People under this leadership are more likely to help each other to achieve a common goal. Leaders tend to build relationships with subordinates and include them in the process of operations.


Being friendly and approachable. People can freely approach this leader due to their friendly personality. They are likely to provide services in a friendly manner.

Seek to build rapport and boost morale. They become more engaged with the task and long term vision of the company. They are always there with their employees to boost their confidence.

Recognized the achievement. Employees are often rewarded due to the success of something they have contributed. They often receive perks and extra money. Incentive programs are also beneficial to motivating employees.

Investment in success and growth. Should instill to employees that success and growth should be the centre of an employee. Discussion with employees stays within employees incentive.


Not achieving task on time. Due to the focus on people, the tasks required may take a longer, and, therefore, hard to accomplish on time. It has something to do with how they manage their work and this could be consumed due to frequent questions of people surrounding the leader.

They are not achieving set goals. Similar to not achieving the task on time. This has something to do with how they manage their time because they are frequently focused on their employees.

Individual and group well-being may suffer as they are not fulfilling self-task. This sums up all the individual task they have for their mission and goals.

In being a leader, there are few traits on how to become a more suitable one.

  • Honesty and Integrity - They are 2 crucial ingredients of becoming a good leader. Leaders succeed when they implement their values and core beliefs in their projects. Without ethics, this may not be possible.
  • Confidence - To be a great leader, you be helpful in letting your people know how to follow demands. Show assertiveness to gain the respect of your subordinates.
  • Inspire Others - As a leader, you should think positive. Stay calm and keep the motivation level up. If you are inspiring your subordinates. You, with their help, can overcome any current and future issues.
  • Commitment and Passion - Your team wants to look upon you and you regain the respect of your subordinates. If they feel that they are not committed or lack passion, leaders must motivate their subordinates to achieve their goals.
  • Excellent communicator - You can clearly communicate your vision to your team, tell them the strategy to achieve their goals. A good communicator can also be a good leader.
  • Decision-making activities - A leader should have the ability to make the right decision. A leader should take decisions on their own based on their values and their ideas.
  • Accountability - A good leader takes more than what his share of blame and little less than his share of credit. Hold them accountable for their actions and create a sense of responsibility for your subordinates.
  • Creativity and Innovation -  It is to get ahead in today's fast-paced world. Creative thinking and constant changes are what make you a more suitable leader. Think outside the box to come up with unique ideas.  

To be a good leader, you need to set a good example for others to follow. That is where your commitment, passion, honesty and integrity come into play. Excellent communication skills and decision-making capabilities also play a vital role in the success and failure of a leader. Innovation and creative thinking, as well as the forward-looking vision, are a couple of crucial traits which make a leader stand out.