My work life had been no exception.
Two years ago, an employee that got done absolutely everything in a day for 30 consecutive days, was the employee of the month. But customers didn’t keep coming back because we got everything done in their prospective orders. In fact, many left for less capable companies.
Because tasks are nothing but logical processes and take nothing into consideration for the people around them; they are empty vouchers of ability that say nothing to the character of a person.
I even employed some Christian men and women (smugly, I might add, “oh look at me, I employ people in the Church, how wonderful of me”), who were all very good at tasks and wound up being not great with people. Were they bad people? Maybe not. Did they do bad things? Absolutely, in some cases.
In fact, my former CFO, a proposed Christian man who did mission trips, participated in the church, spoke of his ever-holy tasks of being a good man; but he was not a great man or even a decent man when it came down to it. He participated in the fraudulent handling of affairs within the company because likely he never handled the people or took time to be in relationship with the people around him, or probably even Dear God. He handled the tasks, and took no notice of the relationship and context his actions were participating in.
Likewise, if I hadn’t spent all my time doing the tasks of the company, and spent time with the people of the company, I would have discovered it much sooner; however, I also was lost in being a not-bad person and focused only on the tasks at hand, not on the people around me. Tasks have a way of giving a false sense of self to those around you, so much so, that you start to believe your own lies of how good you are because everything around you is functioning, clean and in its place.
Realizing this and having the paradigm shift to engage in relationship, not task, lost me everything; once you force the harder task of participation, suddenly there are no false ways to judge a character around the office, no awards, no records, no false achievements; it all become about how the customer and peers are satisfied with working with you and only the strongest of character remain behind.
Tasks are for the weak. Relationship is for the strong.
Through the transition, only one person remained in the company aside from myself, and there were too many tasks to not focus in on relationship in order to get the company back up and running again, stronger than ever.
A year later, my employees aren’t graded exclusively in what they can accomplish (and yes, it turns out the more they are treated like people themselves, the more they treat other people like people and the circle turns very profitable), but on the difference they can make in people’s lives that we work with. In turn, those people make differences in our lives and what a better way to spend a day that the tasks are no longer tasks, but building blocks of relationship between employee, employer and customer.