Functions of Leadership

By John Dudovskiy
December 13, 2014

Functions of LeadershipLeadership can be explained as “the relationship in which one person influences others to work together willingly on a related task to attain goals by the leader or group” (Sekhar, 2010, p.46). Nowadays, the importance of leadership may be greater than ever before due to high levels of competition and increasing difficulty in sustaining competitive advantage.


John Adair’s (2011) eight functions of leadership presented below have great impact on team effectiveness and therefore they need to be conducted appropriately:

  1. Defining the task. Tasks need to be defined according to SMART principle and this abbreviation is interpreted as specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
  2. Planning. Plans need to incorporate provision for unforeseen circumstances, which has become an evitable part of modern markets.
  3. Briefing. It is one of the most important responsibilities of a team leader to specify roles and responsibilities of each individual team member and clarify points of concern for team members during the briefing.
  4. Controlling and coordinating. This function needs to be conducted in a regular and systematic manner.
  5. Evaluating. It is important for evaluations to be conducted in an objective manner and team members should be provided with an honest feedback.
  6. Supporting. Leaders need to support the team with all necessary resources, as well as, guidance and advice in relation to critical aspects of team projects.
  7. Motivating. Effective application of tangible and intangible motivational tools can be justly specified as one of the critical success factors of efficient leadership. Tangible motivational tools to be offered to employees include cash and other forms of material benefits. Alternatively, intangible motivational tools may include formally or informally praising individual employees or teams for their contribution, organising celebrations of group achievements etc.
  8. Setting an example. Leaders to be become role models in expressing the role of importance of organisational values and adherence to mission statement.

The case study of Virgin Group can be mentioned to illustrate an example of effective leadership. Sir Richard Branson, founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group is widely acknowledged as one of the most successful leaders and his personal charismatic leadership style is perceived as a major driving force behind the success of Virgin Group (Group and Fisher, 2011).


Adair, J. (2011) “John Adair’s 100 Greatest Ideas for Amazing Creativity” John Wiley & Sons

Grout, J. & Fisher, L. (2011) “What You Need to Know about Leadership” John Wiley & Sons

Category: Leadership