Module 4 – Functional Leadership


Learn to use the Functional Model of Leadership and the renowned Action-Centred Model by Professor John Adair, enabling you to delineate leadership roles concerning tasks, groups, and individuals, while fostering self-awareness to ensure balanced leadership effectiveness across these crucial dimensions.


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Hopefully you’ve had a good chance to think about leadership skills, your skills, and how you deploy those and the areas that you could improve.

We’ve looked at two areas of leadership now. We’ve looked at the behavior models yesterday, and we’ve also looked at the qualities approach to leadership. What I want to do now is to look at a functional model of leadership. In other words, the things that we do as leaders.

And there is only one model which we could look at in this video, in this particular segment, and that is the action-centred leadership model, produced by Professor John Adair. This is a classic that’s been around for decades, and I find it really, really useful. And you’ll see it is just split into three areas, three interlocking circles, a bit of a Venn Diagram. And you’ll see that each segment is entitled, the three titles are Team, Task and Individual. And what it says is that if we’re attending to all three parts of the leadership role, then, we’re an effective leader.

So what it says is, as a leader, we need to tend to the team’s tasks. Whatever the job on hand is, we must concentrate on that. And that’s perhaps pretty obvious in a sense. You’re there to deliver the marketing function, to design a new product, to manufacture the product. That’s the team’s task. And that’s quite straightforward, you’ll be doing that. But equally important are the team and the individual. By team, we mean looking after everybody as a group, attending to the whole group’s needs. This may be in a number of ways, but you’re thinking about the group as a group, the group dynamics, making sure everybody works together, making sure that everybody’s briefed, the information is passed. Everybody knows what they’re doing and we’re also tending to the group dynamics, pooling together as a big team.

But the other part of the equation, the part that is all too easy to forget is the individual. You also need to think about everybody as an individual, even if your team is very large. Maybe you’re not thinking about every single person. Remember that everybody is an individual, everybody has their own motivation, everybody has their own reasons for doing things, everybody has their ups and their downs. And you need to appreciate that, work with it accept it and ensure that everything you do isn’t just about the task, getting the job done, isn’t about the group as a whole. The individual needs are met. That things are tailored to the individual. The individuals with problems are helped and supported and that every individual feels that they are listened to, that their contribution as an individual is also valued and appreciated.

So today, the task is, having read about the model, is to think about your job, your role, your business, and just to think about how much time you’re spending thinking about the task as compared to running the team, as a whole, but also the individuals, team, task individual. Have a think about that and see what lessons you could learn. And what we’ll do is we’ll come back and in the next segment and start to look at how we actually support these ideas together and think about leadership in a broader context.

Best of luck with today’s task.