Leadership roles are either formal or informal. In formal roles, leaders have a designated responsibility within their position that causes employees to follow them. Informal roles include situations in which leaders use personal traits like empathy, charisma, inspiration and compassion to naturally motivate others to act.


A common leadership role in an organization is that of supervisor. Managers inherently have subordinates over whom they have supervisory responsibilities. This includes delegation of tasks, monitoring of work performance and deadlines and communication before, during and after work is completed. Managers supervise at all levels, from CEO or executive ranks, to front-line store or business-unit managers and assistants. Effective supervision is key to a high-functioning company.


Leaders in a company also take on the responsibility of coaching and mentoring employees. This includes selecting the right types of people for the right work, getting employees acclimated to the work culture and training and developing them to optimum levels of performance. Working with employees to set job and career goals is a common starting point. Helping them find opportunities for development to achieve them and offering feedback along the way are among core elements of the leadership role of coach.

Decision Maker

Designated leaders in a company are the primary decision makers who establish and implement the direction of the company. Employees rely on top-level managers and direct supervisors to make critical decisions that impact the success of the organization and the employees in their jobs. The ability to not only make sound decisions, but make them efficiently, and sometimes under pressure, all relate to the decision maker leadership role.


While employees are often driven by their own ambitions, a primary leadership role in a company is creating a vision and motivating people to follow. Employees can generally only achieve their best if they see a connection between their individual and work group functions and the ultimate success of the organization. Leaders must decide the objectives and pathway to success, and then communicate it effectively and in a way that develops a strong organizational culture with committed employees at all levels.