The Functional Leadership theory argues that the leader’s main job is to see that whatever is necessary to group needs is taken care of; thus, a leader can be said to have done their job well when they have contributed to group effectiveness and cohesion (Fleishman et al., 1991; Hackman & Wageman, 2005; Hackman & Walton, 1986).

In a team or organisation, the functional leader type provides the following to improve the organisations efficiency;

Environmental monitoring – They observe the environment in and around the organisation and act where necessary to maintain a positive environment for their team and /or organisation. They provide the necessary tools and instructions and more for their people to work efficiently.

Organizing subordinate activities – They delegate tasks, structure work outputs, create schedules for team members efficiently so that tasks are effectively completed.

Teaching and coaching subordinates – They become mentors, they become sources of knowledge and they take this role very seriously. They often organise training for subordinates as well.

Motivating others – They are the number 1 cheerleader for all team/organisation members. This leader is the one that believes in his or her people.

Intervening actively in the group’s work – they pay attention to what the group or team as a whole is producing, they immerse themselves in the process and they make the end product better where they can.

You should by now see the strength of this style of leadership, it’s a game changer.


Hackman and Walton (1986), Hackman & Wageman (2005), Morgeson (2005)), Klein, Zeigert, Knight, and Xiao (2006)