Leadership Roles (With Examples And Functions Of Leadership)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 November 2022

Published 17 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Leadership is an essential component required where a group of people are working to achieve the common goal. Employees look to their team leader for encouragement and when their leader appreciates their work, it boosts their confidence. If you are hoping to work in a leadership role one day or want to improve as a leader, you may want to know more about how to be successful. In this article, we discuss what leadership roles are, its examples, seven functions of leadership and a few qualities a leader is required to have.

Related: How To Become A Leader: A Guide (With Leadership Styles)

What Is A Leadership Role?

A leadership role is one where you are responsible to manage a situation, a team or an entire organisation ethically and effectively. Leaders have the skills to influence and guide their team in a shared strategy. They are also responsible for building and maintaining employee morale, helping employees reach their full potential and inspiring employee loyalty.

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

What Are Examples Of Leadership Roles?

Below are a few examples of leadership roles that may help you be a good leader:

1. Coach

As a leader in the workplace, you are also required to be a coach. In a coaching role, you can provide the support your employees may require to succeed in their roles. A coach-leader gives their employees the opportunities to showcase their work and have others in the workplace acknowledge their skills. A coach meets with individual team members to give feedback and constructive criticism. They guide employees through obstacles and celebrate their victories.

2. Networker

A leader is required to be able to connect with people both outside and within the organisation. It would help strengthen the relationships with the colleagues, different teams, suppliers and customers of the organisation, helping the business to grow. To be a successful networker, you can attend seminars, corporate events and conferences to get access to different people, resources and information.

3. Communicator

It is important that, as a leader, you are a good communicator. As a leader, you may require to communicate with different people, such as your team members, subordinates, clients or suppliers. You also require to share different meeting details, sales strategies, policies and team goals with your team members and in a way that motivates and inspires them. You may also require to give presentations to a larger group of people and prepare reports for the higher management. Thus, as a leader, you are required to be good at both verbal and written communication.

Related: Building Communication Skills: 10 Types of Listening

4. Delegator

A delegator is someone who assigns tasks or asks others to take on more responsibilities, often based on business needs. To be an effective leader, you are required to be able to determine your team member's unique strengths and delegate responsibilities accordingly for improved productivity. Leaders also delegate additional responsibilities to employees to give them opportunities to learn new skills and prove themselves.


Your role as a leader also means you are required to be able to strategise ways to tackle a project or help the company succeed. As a strategist, you determine the overarching goals of the team and develop the best processes to reach those goals. A strategist also shares their vision with their team. When a leader is a strong strategist, their team would look to them for guidance and the entire business might benefit.

6. Role model

A role model is one who inspires others by setting examples of their values, personality or actions. Others want to emulate their role models. Thus, a leader of the team or an organisation is required to conduct themselves as they expect employees to behave in the workplace, from adhering to corporate policy to interacting with customers, colleagues and clients.

7. Motivator

For many leaders, being a source of motivation to the team comes naturally, as they want to see their team succeed. As a leader, you are required know how to encourage your team, inspire them to action and help them realise their potential. When a leader can serve as a mentor to their team, it encourages employees to work hard, produce better work and strive for greater responsibility in the workplace.

8. Adaptor

As a leader, you are required to be flexible. Even if you have a planned schedule, there is always the potential for the unexpected to take place and you are required to be able to adapt as needed. For instance, a leader may require to be adaptable if an employee calls in sick for work, if a client changes their mind on a project or if the company goes through budget cuts. When a leader is adaptable, it also sets the tone for the rest of the group to be flexible and change course as needed.

9. Trainer

Training new or existing employees is very important for the organisation. As a trainer-leader, you may require to make employees understand the importance of learning new skills, help them understand new procedures of the department or train team members with tips to increase their productivity. When you would be a good trainer as a leader, employees might be comfortable and also eager to learn new things.

10. Innovator

A good leader always tries to find out ways to improve the existing process of work and bring value to the business. They also encourage other employees of the company to bring new ideas and discuss with them to work on the best one. Leaders understand that pleasant change is good for the growth of the organisation, encourages employees to come out of their comfort zones and helps them grow as well.

Related: Tips on How To Work Hard for a Successful Career

Seven Functions Of Leadership

Here are seven functions a leader needs to perform:

1. Setting goals

A leader's most important function is to set goals for team members to encourage them to work confidently and enthusiastically. They also then make strategies to achieve those goals. Their motive is to create a roadmap for their team members to how to direct them on the right path and help them achieve the set goals.

Related: 7 Leadership Theories for Career Growth

2. Organising

A leader's other important function is to organise the group of people into a task which they can perform effectively. They are required to know how to assign the roles to the individuals as per their ability to bring out the best from them. Thus, this function is vital to increase the team's and individual's productivity.

3. Take initiatives

One of the important functions of leaders is to take initiatives in the team's interest or the organisation. Leaders are required to be confident to share their new ideas and also encourage others to do the same. They are also ensure that each individual in the group feels comfortable sharing their innovative ideas with them.

4. Cooperation among employees

Leaders have to work to align the interests of the individuals with the organisation. A leader's approach plays a vital role in doing the same. They have to ensure the individuals of the group voluntarily cooperate to work towards the common objectives.

5. Motivation and direction

Motivating and showing the right direction to the team or the individual is the primary function of the leader. They require to motivate the team members to work towards achieving their goals and guide them when they face difficulties during working in that direction. They also constantly encourage them by appraising their work and supporting them when required.

Related: Types of Motivation for Career Advancement (With Examples)

6. Liaison between workers and management

A leader plays a very important role in acting as a link between workers and the management. They explain the policies and rules created by management to their team members and help them understand how these policies would be beneficial for them. Also, a good leader represents the expectations and interests of its subordinate in front of the management.

7. Policy making

Policy making is a very important function of a leader for the smooth functioning of the work. The policies leaders make include the rules to follow for effective delivery of operations of the work. By creating policies, leaders also devise the mechanism to be followed by all team members to work towards the organisation's goals.

Related: What Is The Importance Of Leadership In The Workplace?

What Are Leadership Qualities?

Below are a few qualities that a leader is required to have:

  • Be a good listener: As a leader, you require to have good listening skills. You are required to be able to understand the issues your team members share with you and try to help to resolve them.

  • Be disciplined: Your team members may consider you as your role model, thus you require to lead by example. Always try to be on time and well prepared in your meetings, meet project deadlines, always communicate well with your subordinates.

  • Stay alert of potential issues: As a leader, you require to be aware of what is happening around you in the workplace. It would help you identify potential issues that may arise like employee conflicts, low productivity of employees. Being aware would help to act timely and proactively provide solutions.

  • Give and receive feedback: Being receptive to team feedback is just as important as giving feedback. Ask your team members how you can improve as a leader and how you can help them more in order for them to succeed.

Related: How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills At Work: A Guide

Explore more articles