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Role of an Organizational Leader PDF
(254 votes, average 3.08 out of 5)
Written by Ashim Gupta   
Monday, 02 February 2009 06:23

Role of an Organizational Leader

What is leadership?

“What makes a leader?” has been a key question asked throughout the organizations of this century.  Although there is a tremendous research in the subject, however no clear blueprint of effective leadership has emerged that strongly relates to the success in variety of organizations.

 General Electric Corporation defined, "a leader is considered to be someone with vision and ability to articulate that vision to the team, so vividly and powerfully that it becomes their vision".

Another text defined, "a leader is someone who brings to the situation a clear and compelling sense of the future as well as an understanding of the actions  needed to get there successfully."

There are as many definitions of leadership as there are people who have attempted to define it. Thus defining leadership is perhaps a futile exercise since it remains open to multiple interpretations by different individuals.

However, a more rational way to comprehend leadership is to focus on a particular framework, like an organization and try to define the expected role of a leader.

What is the role of a leader in an organization?

The most fundamental role of a leader is to define the organizational goal, formulate plans and organize people to achieve the goals through the execution of plans.


3-Dimensions of leadership


The figure illustrates the 3-Dimensions of leadership tasks

  1. Vision - It defines the purpose, or simply What to do?” A vision includes determining the next product or feature, finding new markets for the product, adoption of new technology etc.
  2. Strategy - It articulates the plans, “How to achieve the vision?” Plans or strategies demonstrate the job knowledge or the skills of a leader. It includes restructuring organization, product management, strategic management etc.
  3. People - “Who should carry out the Strategy?” How to make people accomplish the strategy and hence the goal, The people skills include providing inspiration & motivation, establishing relationship, intelligently using power and position of leadership etc.

The most important skill that bridges the three job functions is “making decisions”. Any leader has to deal with array of options in his every day chore; a good leadership depends on how effectively he chooses those alternatives.  Hence effective decision making is an essential skill for any leader, fortunately a lot of research and academics have focused on this area and there are substantial materials and tools for it.

Transient state of leadership roles

Any organization goes through a series of evolutionary changes depending on various external and internal factors. Take the example of auto industry, when the gas is cheap, the industry focuses on trendy, spacious automobiles. But as gas becomes expensive, the industry shifts it’s vision towards more fuel efficient vehicles. 

Similarly a technology start-up company requires task-oriented leaders and essentially hires employees with high experience who can be delegated with various tasks. However, once the company grows in size many folds, the same leaders become ineffective since the organization has now a lot of fresh young graduates who require substantial coaching, need for people skills in the leaders become more prominent.

Hence it is pretty clear that leaders have to adapt to the changes in the organization and their roles keep on changing. A solutions that may apply at a particular given time and situation may not be applicable at a later time. In fact, every leadership style or solution has certain period of effectiveness, after which it changes the problem itself to a new state requiring a different approach. This also explains why some leaders who were very effective in an organization in one era become obsolete later.

The following table illustrates the transition of leadership roles due to different transformational factors over a course of time.


Transformation Factors



Competition -growing or shrinking

Economy- rising or falling

Technology - new, cost effective




Organizational changes




Recruitments or layoffs







Comments (38)
  • Anonymous
    I would like to know the role of leadership skills in an organization in regard
    to management skills
  • Dray  - details of leadership
    what are details of leadership in an organization
  • Anonymous
    thanks very much for your documentation but may u help me to differentiate
    between the roles and the functions of a leader in organization
  • Anonymous
    thanks very much for the explanation it has helped me to some extent but i fail
    to distinguish the roles and functions of a leader so i hope you may help me
  • Anonymous
    Than it will be very useful for my presentation:)
  • Ethel Kaimila  - head of an organization
    thanks very much it helped me refresh my understanding of leadershipas i prepare
    for an organization leadership job interview.
  • Anonymous
    Thanks, very good and excellent topics on leadership
  • jabu
    lol: Relevant information.
  • jabu  - Ms
    Thank very much about the information I've gain a lot :)
  • Angelito G. Pastrana  - Selection of Organizational Leaders

    Dear Ashim,

    You have a very nice article about the role of an organizational leader. I was
    just wondering about your thoughts on how organizational leaders should be
    selected by the members of the organization. Are there strategies, best
    practices, etc. involved in the selection of quality organizational leaders? I
    hope you would reply to my queries. Thank you very much!
  • Yandiswa  -  Leadership role in strengthening the values insid
    I like this information I get all the answers I need keep it up :D
  • anderson  - leadership
    tanx,i got wat i wanted.continue keeping us informed
  • winnie
    :D thanks 4 the information it was helpful. keep up
  • bridgette  - leadership
    :?: welll i get the what is expected of a goo leader what i would love to more
    is the differences in leadership in organisations and inh schools
  • abiola hassan  - am very greatful
    i want to thank you for the information you posted here, it really helps me in
    carrying out my final year project....am a student of obafemi awolowo
    university, ile ife...thanks
  • shidahhairani  - Leadership
    I hope that maybe someone can give an exmaple to the past century leadership
    compared to the latest version..in 21st century.. :D :D
  • Andrew balogun  - Role of a leadership in an organisation
    Good-day sir,i'm a student of public adminstration,AAU EKPOMA,Edo state
    Nigeria.i want 2 thank u very much 4 ur write-up.it help me 4 my assignment on
  • stefani obande  - ðis is awesome!
    Ðis is totally awesome! Thanks alot,nd keep up d gudwork.cheers!
  • SBONISO  - mrs
  • itai benson
    I would like to thank you very much for the information.It really help me to
    uderstand that leadership power fades as new graduates emerge.thax(itai
  • adwoa pomaah
    I like this information ,keep it up
  • True teaching and information  - Reverend minister
    Thanks be to God for your deeper insight into this subject
    THANK Q...I GET WHAT I WANT... :D ... :)
  • Charity Peprah  - congratulation
    Thank you very much for given me this imformation, I now have a clear
    understanding on thie topic ,that is the role of a leader in an organisation. I
    need more imformation and explanation try as much as possible to sent more
    through my mail. congratulation...
  • king Gfa  - 
    am very much appreciative for the information given out by you. may you be
    rewarded remarkable
  • bahara  - BBA student
    it was really usful for me. thanks...
  • Ang Babu Rai
    I was not clear about the role of organizational leader before. This article
    makes me clear. Thanks for article ASHIM.
  • Ogungbure Adesoji Benson  - Appreciation
    I really appreciate u 4 this documentation.Because I learn and gain a lot of
    things that cannot be over emphasized.Thank you very much.
  • Hubert  - Senior Technician
    Thanks for the documentation ,I've discovered something I never knew before.
  • Olarinmoye Paul  - Appreciation
    Great, I really enjoy and gain alot from this write up. Thank u
  • AVWOGUA IDIBETA ROLAND  - leader in an orgnization
    hi, i really want to know about this thing of a leadership in an
    orgnization.because i saw some certain thing that don't make me to understand.i
    will really appreciate if your organization will send me what i
    want.thanks.ROLAND [LAGOS NIGERIA].
  • Justice  - MBA Student
    Dear Ashim,

    Just to thank you for your efforts to produce all the documentation I read on
    practical-management.com. As an MBA student I was really interested in reading
    the article as it shapes my knowledge in Organizational Behavior that I am
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