The role of a leader is to get results for your followers, your team, your organisation, and your cause whilst meeting the multiple needs of these stakeholders.
It is about communicating, negotiating, influencing, and persuading others to align their efforts to your vision and what you want to achieve.
The term ‘leader’ should not be confused with a manager, since there are differences in a leader and manager and leadership and management styles.
Whilst there are different types of leaders, this page discusses the overall role of a leader, regardless of approach or style. It covers the key things they need to do to be considered an “effective” leader.
The typical role of a leader and their responsibilities involve:
Creating and sharing a vision
- A leader will look beyond the status quo and create visionary goals. Not only that, they will explain the vision and importance of the role each of their team and followers will play in order to achieve shared success. The role of a leader is to set winning strategies, get stakeholder buy-in, then continue to execute, lead through the strategy, and constantly adapt to get the outcomes they want.
Inspiring those around them
- Leading the action and being a role model to continually motivate their follows around them, the role of a leader is to appeal to both hearts and minds. Finding what makes each individual “tick”, what inspires them, and what motivation means for each stakeholder means tapping into and maintaining energy, passion, attention span, dedication, and resilience.
- Others trust them and their vision, they will work with everyone to execute their strategy, and coach the potential of team members who get behind their vision.
Being an effective communicator
- This involves listening, articulating what is needed to be done, breaking down strategy, roles and responsibilities into what is needed to be done, being clear and concise in their messages and goals, and being the go-between with multiple teams and stakeholders.
Navigating the unknown
- Any endeavour will have challenges, roadblocks, and uncertainty. The role of a leader is to navigate these and lead any change in direction, giving tools and support along the way, all whilst keeping up morale.
- A leader has to work with both short term and long term goals simultaneously. It’s important to not lose sight of the goals the organisation has put in place and those that a manager will typically be responsible for, however leaders also invest their time in building their team and organisational capabilities and output. A leader will sense what’s coming, seek out opportunities, and keep up with a rapidly changing world.
Work with multiple different stakeholders, needs, and values
- The people a leader will work with will have a multitude of different values, beliefs, cultures, work ethics and habits, opinions, attitude, ambition, and dreams. Harnessing this diversity can be a competitive advantage, but it is extremely difficult to effectively unify these potentially conflicting desires. The role of a leader is to harness the diverse mix of intelligence, emotions, feelings, opinions, desires and experience in the best way possible.
- There are many things a leader is constantly juggling in their role. As mentioned above, there are multiple stakeholders, needs, and a constantly changing outlook. The role of a leader is to take the time to see how each stakeholder or resource can contribute, ensuring everyone is on the same page, whilst managing the process to reach the overall goal.
Coaching and mentoring
- A leader is focused on guiding those around them in the right direction to ensure success, but also to help achieve new results. They support, guide, listens, problem-solves, and counsels to overcome any obstacles.
Being personally strong and resilient
- It requires a lot of energy and skill to maintain a leadership status, and a leader must keep their humility and integrity. They must keep growing and learning and developing. The role of a leader is to combine personal and professional experience and competencies, and often this means the lines can be blurred.
- A leader knows that there are things that come up which are not anticipated and need working on, and that the plan and strategy needs to be adjusted as you go. They do not wait until the end when it’s too late; they monitor results and make adjustments and they can admit they have made mistakes and things aren’t working out and need corrective action.
Constantly learning and taking on feedback
- A leader is constantly working on being a better person, worker and leader. They place emphasis on learning new skills, learning more about people, learning more about the needs of customers and their organisation, and constantly seek out feedback from those around them in order to continually grow and improve.
Being a leader means that you have the ability and skills to influence and persuade others towards a common objective. The role of a leader is to promote the principles and values you wish to instil and expect from your team.
If you would like to learn more about what the role of a leader is, or how you can recruit the best leaders for your organisation, contact us today.