Types of Leadership Functions

From time to time as a Leader you’ll have the need to develop and rely on a team of people to achieve a goal or objective. In developing a team there are typically two interdependent phases a Leader will go through;

Transition Phase

  • Pull the team together – bring those who you feel are the best suited to the team taking account of competencies, and the ability to work together to achieving a common aim
  • Agree the Mission – define in clear terms what it is you want the team to achieve
  • Set the team goals – team goals must be appropriately challenging, motivating and must be monitored and measured as you go through regular check-ins
  • Structured plan – assign tasks to team members and schedule work patterns
  • Training and development – as the leader its your job to provide appropriate training and support best provided through a leader as coach style
  • Sense-making – identify the major environmental events and provide interpretation in light of the teams overall performance situation and communicate this effectively, again using a leader as coach style
  • Provide feedback – to individuals and the team as a whole

Action Phase

  • Monitoring the team performance – examine the teams performance in terms of the agreed objectives, the processes employed and the external context
  • Keeping the team boundaries set – co-ordinate the teams activities with regard to the organisational objectives and represent the team effectively and positively
  • Challenge the team – hold the team and individuals accountable for their performance and actions, question assumptions made
  • Intervention – work along-side the team in achieving the agreed tasks adopting a leader as coach style
  • Solve problems – uncover blockages and through a process of diagnosis with the team seek out ways in which problems can be solved, agree solutions, implement and check-in on progress
  • Provide resources – information, more time, additional expertise, finance, equipment
  • Empower – encourage self-management best achieved if you are acting as leader as a coach
  • Support the team social environment – encourage positive behaviors, challenge performance, remove those who persistently under-perform

Implications for Team Coaching

Facilitating open and perceptive discussions will allow your team to delve deep into purpose and how achieve organisational alignment. As a leader your role is to protect your team and ensure your team is credited with the success when the objectives have been achieved. By adopting a leader as coach style of leadership/management you will find the effort you invest will be paid back handsomely. Not only will your team be more effective and productive they will also find more confidence when tackling more complex challenges. But you too as a leader will find you learn from your team and grow as a leader in your own right.

Overall your role as a leader as a coach is to help your team take a more perceptive and nuanced approach to problem solving and objective achievement.


Morgeson et al; Leadership in Teams: A Functional Approach to Understanding Leadership Structures and Processes – 2009; Journal of Management

Whitlock T – 2018; Harvard Business Review – Employee Performance Management is Broken

For help with how to be a leader as a coach & team training and coaching then don’t delay and get in touch at info@isosyst.co.uk

Philip Dawson MBA – Organisational Consultant

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