People Work and Task Work

September 2, 2009 — 3 Comments

I’m learning a lot this week about the similarities and differences of people work and task work.  My role has been shifting into a managerial and oversight role over a significant number of people, and this has required much more personal interaction and meeting than I have had in the past.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned in no particular order:

  • I can say without a shadow of a doubt that people work is equally as exhausting, if not more so, than task work
  • People work requires as much planning, and more care, than task work
  • It’s much easier to feel a sense of accomplishment in task work
  • Great ideas come from dialogue, but action requires tasks
  • Delegating tasks works better when you’ve done effective people work
  • It’s much easier to manage tasks than people
  • Task work gives me time to process people

Sorry for the stream of consciousness post, but I’m fairly brain-dead…forgot to mention that people work is incredibly mentally taxing.

Anything I missed?

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

3 responses to People Work and Task Work

  1. Yes. This is where most people managers fall short. It is much easier to manage the numbers a person produces than to manage a person. The best managers will fault on the side of people work and let more of the numbers bubble up.

    I do think, however, that a manager who is good at task management can utilize that skill to help the people be good task managers which can help the performance and satisfaction all around.

    It is interesting to see Jesus people work is emphasized by the gospel writers over his task work.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m definitely learning a ton right now about the transition toward more people management, and the skills I have learned in task management definitely apply.

      For some reason, it’s easier to stay organized with tasks, and to more “gut it” with people, but I’m understanding how much more organized and intentional that I need to be.

      Jesus always used tasks to develop his disciples…it’s a great word on discipleship!

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