Maybe you’ve heard of a task-oriented leadership style. An achievement-oriented leadership style follows many of the same principles. Instead of being focused on the people doing the work, leaders practicing this style are focused on what is being achieved by their teams. That requires a focus on the tasks being completed as well.
There are several key advantages and disadvantages which come along with this unique leadership style.
List of the Advantages of Achievement Oriented Leadership
1. Goals are communicated clearly with this leadership style.
Everyone on a team tends to be on the same page better when achievement-oriented leadership is being used. That is because the goal is the outcome which needs to be achieved. To make outcomes happen, leaders must be able to outline specific tasks and steps that the team must take. The focus is always on making it to the end of the project instead of focusing on what people bring to the project.
2. Deadlines are consistent with achievement-oriented leadership.
There are clear deadlines issued when using this leadership style in the workplace. There is nothing ambiguous about any project or assignment which must be completed. Each step that is assigned to someone will also have a specific deadline associated with it. If the work is not finished, then achievement doesn’t happen, and that is how a leader holds their team accountable for their actions.
3. These leaders make themselves available to others.
Instead of taking a hands-off approach to a project, leaders practicing the achievement-oriented style lend advice to their team. They will even offer personal guidance to get their people through difficult tasks. The goal is the project first, then personal development with this style. There is still plenty of delegation going on. The leader, however, is delegating their experience to others as part of the process.
4. It helps team members manage their time better.
Some people work better in an unstructured creative environment where they get to call the shots. Others work better when there are clear structures in place with absolute instructions to follow. The achievement-oriented leadership style focuses on the latter. If someone struggles to manage their time well when they are at work, then they have a better chance to thrive under this leadership style.
5. Results are easier to achieve with this leadership style.
Because leaders are focused on tasks and achievements with the achievement-oriented leadership style, it is easier for them to create results. Although some might see the efforts of this type of leader as micromanagement, it will also create higher levels of accountability within a team because the daily to-do lists are consistently reviewed. That is a major advantage for workers in a small business or startup who might be wearing many different hats throughout the day.
6. It creates a system where rewards can be guaranteed.
One of the biggest morale busters for workers in the modern workplace is a lack of incentive. If they do a good job, then they earn their paycheck. Why work harder than the person next to them who earns the same amount? The achievement-orientated leadership style takes this issue into account. It naturally creates systems where rewards can be guaranteed when workers go above and beyond. It will also create a disciplinary system for those who are unable to meet the stated goals.
List of the Disadvantages of Achievement Oriented Leadership
1. It reduces opportunities for employee feedback.
Leaders who are focused on achievements tend to avoid receiving any sort of feedback from their team. Unless the issue is directly related to the deadlines involved, they are focused on the to-do list which must be completed. There is a tendency to demand that each step be completed in the way that was outlined for each worker, which eliminates the ability for someone to improve upon the process.
2. There can be little regard to employee welfare.
This is another consequence of being focused more on the tasks and achievements involved than the person doing the work. If an employee is unable to complete specific steps for any reason, then that gives the leader justification to replace that worker. Workers tend to feel like they are over-worked and under-paid in this structure because success is expected. If they achieve it, then they did their job and go to the next project. If not, they might be looking for a new job.
3. This leadership style contributes to employee burnout.
Being focused on achievements does generate better results for an organization. It also contributes to higher levels of employee burnout. Leaders using this style stay focused on the steps required to reach a final goal. They don’t care who is completing those steps at the end of the day. As long as there are busy, experienced hands who can handle the work, anyone can step onto a team to get the jo done.
4. There tends to be high turnover rates.
Employers who focus on bringing in achievement-oriented leaders tend to see higher turnover rates than companies which use a mixture of leadership styles. People don’t quit their jobs. They quit their bosses. The nature of this leadership style is for the leader to be highly involved with every aspect of the work being done. Some people do not work well with someone always looking over their shoulder, so they’ll look for a different place of employment where they can express some creativity.
5. It reduces creativity and innovation.
Leaders using this style in the workplace are not looking for a creative approach. They don’t want innovative thinking. They want someone who can complete a specific task in the steps that were provided to them. Because there is a reduction in creativity and innovation, the results teams are able to achieve using this leadership style tend to cost more over the long run when compared to other leadership styles.
6. This leadership style can be tough on the manager too.
The achievement-oriented leadership style requires an autocratic personality to be successful. Some leaders do not think that way. They are used to delegation, of course, but they are not used to the constant supervision that is required to ensure achievements happen. It can be just as stressful on the supervisor to be micromanaging people as it is for the workers who are being micromanaged.
The advantages and disadvantages of the achievement-oriented leadership style offer benefits when the workplace must be structured in a specific way. It generates results because it is based on consistency. For people with creative tendencies and independent thinking, this leadership style will feel more like a burden.
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.