Task vs. Relational Leadership

Behavioral theories of leadership focus on behaviors that leaders enact, as they lead others such as coordinating, planning, organizing along with motivating, training and more. These actions that the leader takes tend to define their roles. Within behavioral theory of leadership, there is the relationship or task-oriented leader along with the transactional vs. transformational or charismatic leadership style. Task oriented leadership behaviors focus on those in which the leader defines roles and communication patterns, lays out specific plans and assigns responsibilities and clarifies expectations,  among other characteristics. Meanwhile, the relationship leader focuses on being considerate and understanding, show that they trust and respect their followers, help their followers develop abilities and careers and being friendly.

This summer I was able to see the different theories in action and was able to apply these theories to my mangers. Heidi and Sam were both more relationship-oriented leaders. Although Heidi, the founder, emphasizes deadlines, there was much more freedom within our work and less formal rules. Expectations were explained in the beginning of the internship, but Heidi and Sam never specifically defined their roles and distinguished themselves from us. They placed large emphasis on the relationships that they formed with us and the open communication that they wanted to have. I felt extreme respect from the founders which in turn made the other interns and I feel as if we could trust and respect them as well (besides them being extremely bright individuals). As stated in previous blog posts, we had weekly check-ins where we would explain what we were doing, but besides that they were mainly aimed at getting to know each other more and forming closer bonds. At the end of the internship Sam and Heidi expressed their gratitude towards us and said how their door is always open if we need advice or help in the future. They offered mentorship meetings throughout the internship and extended the offer after our time at AGS ended incase we ever needed guidance in our careers. The weekly trainings that we also had helped us, their followers, develop abilities that we could use in future working environments. This relationship was extremely special, and I believe helped create a positive and productive working environment.