What Is a Task-Oriented Leadership Style?

A task-oriented leadership style means that a manager or leader prioritizes task direction ahead of consideration of people. A leader with this style focuses on establishing project or task deadlines, delegating responsibilities and monitoring worker progress until completion. While the leader may still engage in some level of coaching and relational management, these roles aren’t as prominent.

A primary benefit of task-oriented leadership is that it contributes to employees and departments meeting goals and deadlines. In a structured work environment, task-orientation promotes greater discipline to time tables and task standards. Good task leaders are often effective at setting up systematic processes for projects. They also excel at delegating tasks to the right individuals or work groups for timely and quality performance.

On the other hand, task-orientation leadership may restrict worker creativity and flexibility. Morale may also suffer, especially when a department is under intense pressure, because the leader isn’t as oriented toward showing concern for the personal welfare of workers. High task-orientation is a challenge in an unstructured work place intended to encourage innovation and free thinking. Task-oriented leaders may also not rely as much on input and feedback from employees. This limited approach to accepting feedback may mitigate the quality of decisions and activities.