This blogpost will look at the 3 most important roles of a leader. We will also be looking at some of the characteristic traits of a good leader and the many responsibilities they have to fulfill. Lastly, we shall also mention some strategies you can use in order to become a better leader. Great leaders are the key to aligning organizational policies with employees, leading to success.
What are the 3 most important roles of a leader?
The 3 most important roles of a leader are:
- The visionary
- The delegator
- The motivator
Even though the term leader is one, there are many different roles a leader plays. And each one is essential to the smooth and efficient working of the team. Someone who plans on becoming a great leader needs to equip himself/herself with the skills and the mindset to play all these roles equally well. The 3 most important roles of a leader are examined in brief below:
This is one of the most important roles a leader needs to play in the team. The team members need someone who can set the vision for them and guide them forward. While playing the role of a visionary, the leader needs to set the aims much higher and take on projects that are meaningful and relatable to the team members.
The leader is the person who assigns roles and tasks to other the other members of the team. The leader should be careful to give the roles to the right person keeping in mind their skillsets, knowledge and expertise. They should also consider their personalities and working styles in order to ensure proper completion of the tasks.
When the team members face challenges or obstacles, they look for motivation and support from the leader. The leader needs to support the team members not only through words but also actions and even incentives. Knowing the team members well on a personal level is necessary to find the right motivators for the team.
In addition to these, leaders also perform various other roles in the team. Some of these are:
The leader sets the goals for the team and helps them achieve it. While setting the goals, the leader needs to set both a shared goal as well as individual ones for the team members. The goals also need to be set smartly, which means they need to be specific, measurable, achievable and relatable to the team members.
Being the strategist of the group means giving directions to the team members and showing them the way forward. The leader needs to also consider the bigger picture and plot accordingly. Great leaders always keep the organization’s long-term visions in mind and also use the values of the company to guide their work processes.
Planning and organizing is another important role that leader need to play. Organizing can mean many things from delegating the right tasks to the right people, getting the resources the team members require and also solving problems along the way. This can also mean finding the right work space and bringing the proper team members into the fold.
The leader is the one who communicates and instructs the team members. They can be the middle-man between the team and the higher authorities. Leaders need to be able to communicate messages in a clear and effective manner. They also need to be good at communicating through various methods, whether it be oral or written and even non-verbal.
Leaders need to know their team members thoroughly. In knowing them better, they can discover hidden talents and strengths. They may also know the right projects for these team members. Team members may occasionally confide in their leaders about various issues, ranging from personal to work problems. A leader needs to be a good confidant in order to raise morale.
The team player
Many managers and leaders give speeches about the importance of teamwork and being a team player, when they themselves are not fulfilling those roles. In the team, the leader needs to be the greatest team player and put the team forward and commit to the goals. In doing so, the leader inspires and motivates others in the team to also follow them.
The leader also needs to act as a coach or a mentor for the other team members. While being a coach, the leader guides the team members to their next level and helps them develop themselves. This can be in the form of teaching the team new skills, introducing them to new networks, and also giving new opportunities to grow in the organization.
While the leader is important for communicating instructions and guidance to the team members, they also need to be great listeners. Through listening intently, leaders can understand the problems of the team members and provide the right remedies. Great leaders practice active listening, which is listening with the intention of understanding rather than responding.
Learning is a life-long practice and this also applies heavily to those in leadership roles. Leaders need to be ready to learn new skills and sharpen existing ones. This serves two purposes. One, it helps the leader stay on top of their game. It also helps to inspire and motivate the other team members to learn and develop new skills as well.
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Characteristic traits of a good leader
Let’s look at some of the characteristic traits that make up a good leader. Some of these traits are described below:
Great communication skills
Leaders need to have great communication skills if they want to guide the team in the right manner. Leaders who practice open and honest communication with their team members have lesser misunderstanding and fewer conflicts. Leaders also can negotiate and come to consensus easily when they have good communication skills.
High sense of integrity
Leaders show a high sense of integrity and honesty in everything they do. In doing so, they inspire the other team members to also show integrity by leading them in example. Through integrity, leaders develop mutual respect and trust in the team, thus creating more transparency and accountability in the work process.
Good work ethic
Leaders motivate team members to have great work ethic by demonstrating it themselves. Good work ethic means showing up on time, completing your tasks thoroughly, owning up to your mistakes and following the rules of the organization. In this manner, the leader guides the team members to better work productivity and efficiency.
Great leaders are highly self-aware. This means they know their strengths as well as their weaknesses. They are also better aware of their emotions and can regulate them easily. When leaders are aware of the gaps they might have in their skill sets or knowledge, they would get the right team members on board to bridge those very gaps.
Responsibilities of a leader
A leader plays many roles in the team and also has multiple responsibilities. They need to cater to the needs of both the higher authorities as well as those of the team members. The various responsibilities of a leader are listed as follows:
- Leaders are responsible for the coaching and development of the team members. This can be in relation to learning new skill sets and also career development.
- The leaders need to also set the goals for the team carefully. They might also need to readjust the goals in alignment with the team’s progress.
- The leaders need to identify and resolve conflicts quickly between the team members before they escalate and become disruptions in the work process.
- Team leaders need to also acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments and successes in the team in order to motivate the team to do more.
Strategies to become a better leader
Everyone wants to be a great leader. However, not everyone may know how to do so. A few strategies you can use to become a better leader are:
Following the rules of the organization
It is every employee’s duty to follow the rules of the organization. And this includes leaders as well. In order to inspire the rest of the team members to follow the policies and rules of the organization, the leaders have to first lead by example. They also need to bring awareness to the various existing policies in the organization that not everyone might know of.
Demonstrating happiness in your work
When leaders are happy, the team members are also happy. Leaders need to demonstrate happiness in every task they do so that the team members will take note and follow. This not only increases work productivity and efficiency, but also can create a positive and supportive environment to work.
Doing tasks you don’t like
While there may be projects which are interesting and fun, there might also be tasks which are not that pleasant and monotonous. These might be tasks that are highly important to the project. When leaders are ready to take on unpleasant tasks, it inspires the team members to trust and believe them.
This blogpost has examined the 3 most important roles of a leader. We have also looked at some of the characteristic traits of a good leader and the many responsibilities they have to fulfill. In addition, we have also mentioned some strategies you can use in order to become a better leader.
Frequently asked questions: (What are the 3 most important roles of a leader?)
What is a role and what is a responsibility?
In simple terms, a role is a particular position in a team while a responsibility refers to the tasks involved with that particular role. For a team to function smoothly, the team members need to understand and accept their roles. They also need to understand their responsibilities so that they may be able to fulfill them.
What are the 5 types of leaders?
The 5 various types of leaders or leadership styles in a team are:
- Authoritarian leadership where the leader issues clear guidelines and strategies to the team members who need to follow them properly. The team members do not have a say in decision-making or problem-solving.
- Participative leadership where the leader and the team members are highly participative in all the team processes.
- The laissez-faire leadership where the leader only takes initiative and the team leaders take care of the rest. This type of leadership highly encourages innovation.
- Transactional leadership where rewards and punishments are used to get things done. This makes the team-members highly task-oriented.
- Transformational leadership where the leader inspires the group and acts as a visionary for the team members. This leads to empowerment and encouragement of team members.
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