Relationship is the Task.
I tend to be task driven.
I like to get things done. When I have a task hanging over my head, it tends to weigh heavily on my mind and steals my ability to focus on other things. This can be a problem when it comes to relationships with those I lead. I have to work hard not to bypass relationship in the name of completing the task. If you're more relationally bent, you may be offended at the very idea of this, it's my blog and I'm trying to be honest:)
My tendency toward this has made a new book I'm reading especially helpful. "Radical Candor" is a project by Kim Scott, CEO of Candor, INC. It's all about how to be a great boss, manager and leader. It's filled with tremendous insight for everyone who leads anyone - parents, coaches, employers, and ministry leaders.
In an early chapter Scott tells the story of a particularly demanding day of being pulled in multiple directions emotionally as she managed the many relationships she was responsible for. She writes of calling her coach and asking, "Is my job to build a great company, or am I really just some sort of emotional babysitter?" Her coach, an ex-Microsoft executive responded with an emphatic, "This is not babysitting. It's called management, and it is your job!"
I don't know about you, but at times I'm prone to feel like genuine relationship with those I'm responsible for gets in the way of actually leading them. I wonder, "Do I really need to invest personally? Can't we just all do our part and get our work done? Do I truly need to care about more than the task we're trying to accomplish?" The obvious answer is, "YES!"
Relationship IS the work of leadership and leadership without relationship is dictatorship.
The next time you're prone to want to bypass relationship in favor of the task, remember that relationship is the most significant part of the task for every leader. This week I'm asking myself if I genuinely love and care for those I lead. I'm also reflecting on how to better invest time and effort in caring for them and if you're anything like me, I'd invite you to do the same.