Leadership is such a common term in business, but no one really takes the time to define what leadership looks like and how it should function. Depending on the type of business you work in, a leader might look very different to you than your peers. However, there are some key leadership roles and responsibilities that are essential for every leader to master. Often times businesses suffer if these leadership roles and responsibilities are not part of their leadership structure. They should function as a core around which you build the leadership structure the way that you need. Here are the essential leadership roles and responsibilities that we have compiled at HJR Global.
Every company needs strong leaders that understand their roles to be effective. Leaders are not, as some people would imagine, tasked with being a bully or to enforce rules and punish detractors. Instead, a leader’s role is to inspire their team and to encourage self leadership. A team that’s led effectively shouldn’t need to enforce rules because they inspired their team to take action on their own. To get that, the role of a leader should be focused on four components.
- Vision – Leadership roles are all about directing people’s effort to accomplish a shared goal. How can your team work towards anything if leaders aren’t sharing a vision with them. Some people are afraid to be vision makers because they assume vision is akin to daydreaming. But part of what succeeds in the modern economy is to disrupt the natural flow with something different that people will need. You can’t do that if your leaders don’t have vision.
- Inspiration – Since leadership is defined as “endeavoring to inspire, influence and guide others to participate in a common effort,” it stands to reason that one of the main leadership roles and responsibilities is to inspire a team. If you have a vision, you also have to use emotional intelligence and effective communication to motivate your team into action.
- Strategy – Leaders make a plan to achieve a goal that their team executes, so you must have a strategy in place to accomplish your goals, as well as to respond to any issues that arise. Your job is to create a roadmap for your team to follow and then support them as they follow it.
- Support – A team needs support to accomplish their goals and the teams that are lacking in time and resources are often the ones that fail. As a leader, your job is to make sure that your team has the necessary resources to finish a task. Whether that involves providing budget adjustments, hiring needed help or allocating time with your or your leadership staff, part of your role is to get your team the resources they need.
These are simply the roles that you must fill as a leader for your team to be effective. At times the essential leadership roles and responsibilities of a leader overlap, but sometimes what you are responsible for as the head of a team will differ from the roles you fill.
Responsibilities Of A Leader
The key responsibilities are the actions or tasks you must undertake as a leader to fill your role. Unlike the role of a leader, your direct responsibilities might be very specialized to you or very general. Typically leaders are responsible for:
- Directing – Once you have come up with a strategy and a foundational why, you need to make sure that your team executes your strategy in order to accomplish the goals of the company. To direct properly, you must delegate tasks, keeping your team’s mind on the “why,” so everyone knows what they are working toward. To be effective and to make sure your team knows you are invested, remain visible and accessible as your team moves toward that common goal.
- Problem Solving – One of the easiest ways that a team can get derailed and time management can go out the window is when a team has to spin their wheels on a problem. That’s why leaders are problem solvers. As a leader, you need to find solutions for problems so your team can stay on track. Sometimes these are high stress problems that need an immediate fix, but you must keep your cool or else your team surely will lose theirs.
- Communicate – Obviously, communication is essential to the role of the leader, but you are also a mouth piece for your team and you are their main source of information. Therefore, you need to communicate effectively in all things, whether you are speaking on behalf of your team or to them.
If you can master these leadership roles and responsibilities, you can lead a team in any effort. Anyone that wishes to become a better leader should look at their performance in these areas to figure out where they need to improve.
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