…Dark side of people oriented leadership
By REV CLIFFORD CHISHA
He was arguably the most powerful warrior and army leader King David had. It’s like David was not ready to lose him despite the costly mistakes he made.
The man was Joab, the commander who ended up killing David’s son, Absalom despite being instructed to be gentle with him.
“And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.”
The Instruction was clear but Joab decided to go against it.
“Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.”
King David lost a son.
A closer look at David’s style of leadership shows some traits of a people-oriented leader.
He focused so much on building a team of warriors through creating lasting relationships with people.
He received men who were in distress, in debt and bitter in soul and turned them into mighty warriors.
(Check 1 SAMUEL 22:1-2)
He was a great leader, most likely, a people-oriented leader.
He cared about creating a certain work culture which most likely took time. The winning mentality seems to have been installed in the minds of the people he turned into great warriors, the might men of David.
They won battles like no man’s business.
However, there was a darker side of David’s leadership style – the failure to sternly disciple or fire Joab.
People-oriented leaders usually find it difficult to fire someone and they end up suffering the stress of keeping an insubordinate, poor performer or a dangerous team member.
The truth is in leader, it is better to let Joab go. If he doesn’t go, you will continue enduring unnecessary stress.
No one is indispensable. Discipline that ‘Joab’ sternly or fire him. His stay could cost you your ‘son’.
Joab assassinated King David’s son. Though Absalom was a problem and deserved to be severely punished, King David wasn’t ready to lose him that way.
Initially, Joab murdered Abner.
Joab rebuked King David for having conferred with Abner and sent him away in peace.
Without the consent of the king, Joab murdered Abner.
The king wasn’t pleased with that but didn’t do much to curtail Joab.
Unreasonable people take advantage of people-oriented leaders.
Some people take advantage of their dependability, good reputation or CV, their close relationship with their leader and end up becoming liabilities.
Professionally sort them out before the organisation loses out.
If you are a people-oriented leader, include in your team task-oriented leaders who can freely provide checks and balances.
Allow them to check and help you.
You may as well come up with a deliberate personal policy of periodically appraising yourself in that area.
Check if you are trying to balance up the two, task and people-oriented.
It’s not possible to be both people-oriented and task-oriented at the same time and for both to be at par.
My advice is, try a 60:40 affair or balance if possible.
Editor’s Note: If President Edgar Lungu represents King David,who are the Joabs in his Cabinet?