People oriented leaders seek to create a “positive” friendly culture in their organization. They often describe their team as being like “one big happy family”. These positive cultures however can often settle for production levels well below their true potential. Let’s face it, if the work doesn’t get done, the organization won’t be successful. If the organization isn’t successful, it doesn’t matter how friendly everyone is, good people will lose their jobs.
In contrast, a task oriented leader is driven to get the job done. He is all about results. His goal is to create a highly “productive” culture. These leaders describe their team as “a well-oiled machine”. If team members don’t feel valued however, this organization won’t be successful either. When good people don’t feel valued, they leave. Your objective as a leader is to find a balanced approach to creating a culture that is both “positive and productive”.
There’s a great example in Acts about the early church making some intentional changes in team assignments in order to be more effective with both people and tasks.
So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” Everyone liked this idea.” (Acts 6:2-5a NLT)
The whole team responded positively to this change in assignments because they knew it was going to be good for everyone. You’ve heard Jim Collins ask: “Do you have the right people on the bus?” His next question is: “Do you have them in the right seats?” Having the right people in the right seats all moving toward a common destination is essential for developing a culture that is both “positive and productive”.
Spend time with your people today to evaluate their skills and discover what motivates them. Make sure they are the right people for your organization and then make sure they are in the right seat doing a job that interests them and matches their strengths. Let your team members know you care about them and that you want them to succeed. Be willing to come alongside in order to help them achieve individual success.
A lot of little individual successes will result in a big success for the team. When team members feel valued, they will want to add value to the organization. If they believe you want them to succeed, they will want to help you succeed. Creating a positive and productive culture today is a win for the team and everyone will benefit from the organization’s success tomorrow.