Functions of Leadership

Leadership is the ability to influence the behavior of others towards the attainment of common goals. Leadership is also viewed as a process wherein a leader directs the followers to achieve shared aims. Effective leadership is indispensable for productive and efficient outcomes of teamwork. There are various styles of leadership with relatively common functions.

The major functions of a leader during their leadership are as follows:

  1. Policy Making: The foremost function of a leader is to make a policy for the smooth running of the work by the followers. The policy includes principles and rules for running the machinery of teamwork. It also defines the course of action for effective delivery of contributions by the followers. It is the function the leader to devise a working mechanism for the followers by considering various aspects the nature of the work so that the common goals can easily and adequately be achieved.  
  2. Organizing: Another function of a leader is to organize the followers into a group to handle the tasks collectively. This function is important for enhancing productivity of teamwork. Every individual in a team has certain abilities. It is very important to bring all the individuals together to make the best of their abilities. The leader brings together the followers in order to combine their abilities to achieve the major task effectively.
  3. Planning – goals and strategies: The leader sets goals; and plans strategies to achieve these goals. The planning includes cost planning, time planning and human resource planning. IThe purpose is to make a roadmap for the follower to keep them on the right track and to guide them on how and when to utilize the resources to achieve goals.
  4. Mobilization: The important function of a leader is mobilization – to engage followers in work. Once a plan is made, the followers need to execute the planned strategies. It requires a leader to help the followers to initiate and engage in the work to accomplish the goals in planned time and resources. The leader encourages the follower to keep them going throughout the entire process of goals accomplishment.
  5. Direction and Guidance: A leader acts a guide who gives a direction to the followers and keeps them on track to move in the right direction. The follower may face certain difficulty in the process accomplishing certain task where they need the guidance their leader. The leader offers constant guidance to the followers to help them make the best of their efforts.
  6. Motivation: A leader is a constant source of motivation for the followers. The leader inspires the followers to keep them going for long. The leader motivates them to raise their spirit towards the attainment of the goals. The leader may also design various bonuses, appreciation certificates, allowances and benefits for the motivation of followers.
  7. Problem Solving: The leader solves the problems that arise at various stages. Some problems are expected while some are unexpected. The leader has solutions and alternative strategic plans for expected as well as unexpected problematic situations. The leader is always ready to face challenging situations.
  8. Group Representation: A leader serves as a representative of his followers. The group of followers needs to have a representative to represent them while interacting with other groups and individuals.
  9. Controlling internal relationships – Arbitration and Mediation: For a good working environment, there should be good relationships among the followers. However, sometimes due to differences among the followers, some mutual conflicts may arise among the followers which need to be resolved. The leader works as a mediator to resolve these conflicts of followers and to help them reach a mutual agreement.
  10. Controlling rewards and penalties: The followers receive various benefits or face penalties on the basis of their performance. The purpose of these rewards and penalties is to motivate followers or to refrain the followers from irresponsible behavior. The leader controls the awards and penalties on the basis of the efficiency and productivity of the followers.
  11. Role Model: A leader is a role model for his follower. The leader possesses all the qualities and capabilities required for tackling various challenges. He has the perseverance to keep going until the achievement of their objectives. Due to these qualities, he serves as a source of inspiration for the followers. Leader is viewed as their ideal personality by the followers.
  12. Devising an ideology: An ideology is a set of ideas, beliefs and opinions which reflect the crux of an endeavor. The followers require an ideology to follow. Without an ideology, an endeavor is meaningless. The leaders devise the best ideology depending upon the nature of endeavor undertaken by the followers and the goals to achieve.
  13. Facilitation: The overall function of a leader is the facilitation of the followers. A leader shapes the behaviors of the followers in order to facilitate them towards the accomplishment of the planned tasks. The purpose of leadership is not only to direct the followers towards an action but also to facilitate the followers in those actions either by guiding or involving personally with the followers in those actions whenever required.