Effective Leadership #23 – Different Roles in a Team

Play Stone Colorful Placed Team Figures Wood

Welcome to yet another article in Effective Leadership series. For a team to be highly successful in reaching the goals, several roles must be played. These roles are a collective effort o the team. It is not something like the roles are assigned automatically to the individuals in the team. A leader will ensure that all the team members share the same goals and assign the roles and responsibilities accordingly. In some cases, every individual takes up roles based on the necessity. It differs from one organization to that of another or even from one team to another. Here both individual and team interest matter. So it becomes the responsibility of the leader to align the interests to make them think and act together.

How are roles Assigned?

It is first a leader’s responsibility to pick an effective team. An effective team is a composition of effective team members. Members of the team can play several key roles based on the necessity. It need not always be the same person doing a particular role. These are the roles the staff members bring in addition to that of the skills they bring while joining the team to do the basic tasks of the team. A leader should always ensure if all these roles are played or not. Sometimes there can even be situations where roles will be combined and played. It is absolutely fine to get a better teamwork. While forming a team or while organizing the work, a leader should fit the roles of the staff members based on their talents. If required a particular staff member can even take more than one role based on their capacity. A leader should facilitate with a training if talents of the team need some updates.

Key Team Roles

For the smooth functioning of the team, the team members should work as a team with a full focus on the goals. Only with collective efforts, a team will be able to accomplish the goals. In an ideal team, for the efficient functioning of the team, there are certain roles required. We will see them in detail below:


The whole team work is pulled together by the coordinator. A coordinator understands the functionalities of the team on a high level and makes sure the team is following the process properly to reach the goals. The coordinator is also responsible for doing process mapping and making sure the process is going smooth and effective. All the functional aspects of the process are handled by the coordinator. A leader will facilitate the coordinator with all the necessary details and based on the inputs provided the coordinator acts as a supervisor throughout the project phase. The coordinator also helps the team in setting high standards. The standards set by the coordinator is either for the team or for the organization as a whole.


For a healthy team, a critic is always important. Without a critic, we will not be able to understand how the team is performing. If we assume that all the processes are going smooth always, then we are making a big mistake. Every team will need a critic to analyse the process and share his honest comments. A critic can sometimes have friction with the other team members because of the criticism provided. It is leader’s responsibility to lubricate the friction that occurs. A critic helps in increasing the team’s effectiveness by providing valuable comments wherever required. Instead of getting a criticism from an external team member or from a client directly, it is always good to receive criticism from the internal team members. This will open a wide area for improvement for an individual as well as the team. A critic will always keep the team in thinking mode. If at all the organization wants to bring changes in the way they operate, a critic’s contribution will be very helpful. A critic can also be called as a guardian for the team’s effectiveness by providing valuable feedback to the team members then and there.

Ideas Person

A team can easily run out of ideas. Though it is every team member’s responsibility to be creative throughout the project, it is always good to have a dedicated ideas person in the team to provide ideas and approaches towards success. If a team member is bringing an innovation in the process or the way the team works, it is the duty of the ideas person to acknowledge the innovation. Every team member should be provided equal opportunity to be creative. This role is a collective role where new ideas should always emerge from the team. It will be very healthy if the point of emergence is not always from a single person. In some of the companies, the ideas are imposed by the leaders. This may not provide a successful result. Ideas should be poured by every member of the team and finally, the decision should be made by the leadership team as a collective effort.


Every idea that is being proposed will need execution if is selected as a good one. Having a dedicated implementer in the team will help not just implementing ideas but also to ensure the smooth running of the team in all the aspects. An implementer will always be after the ideas and look forward to implementing it to make the life easier for the team. With the help of guidance from the leaders, the implementer will first formulate the approach in which something can be implemented. The implementation can sometimes be immediate or sometimes it can be a long-term one.

External Contact

No team in this world will be able to function on its own. Support from internal team members and external team members is always inevitable for the success of the team. The external contact representative of the team should be aware of all the other dependent contacts available both inside the company as well as outside the company. If a team member is stuck on a particular task and if they require expertise from a staff member from another team, the external contact representative should be able to facilitate the contact with them. On a high level, they should at least be able to direct the staff member of the team to the right person. It is not just something that is internal, if there is a requirement to approach someone from the client side, external contact person should either contact the client and gather the information or they should be able to facilitate the meeting.


In most of the companies, the inspection work is usually done by the leader itself. It may not be realistic for a leader to do such tasks regularly. If it is just a one-time scenario, a leader will be able to do the inspection by themselves. It is good to have a dedicated individual to do the inspection. This is to make sure a quality product reaches the client. The necessary training for the inspector should be provided by the leader. Inspector should be able to check if the standards of the company are being followed by the team. If there are any flaws it should be immediately reported and addressed by the team. Inspector is usually called in different terminologies in different companies.

Team builder

If a team is continuously working on a pre-defined set of process, it may not be really innovative or motivating for the staff members. If there is no area for improvement or innovation, the team may look dull doing the same thing again and again. That is the reason why we have an ideas person on the team who will always be looking for opportunities to do things in a different way. Cheering the staff members to work as a team is also very important. After all, in most of the companies, one staff member’s work is dependent on another staff member. If just one person loses the spirit, the end product may not be impressive. The role of team builder is to ensure that the staff members always work with a team spirit.


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Hope you had an interesting read. Share your views on this topic in the comments section.


My previous articles in this series:

Effective Leadership #1 – An Introduction

Effective Leadership #2 – Focusing on Quality

Effective Leadership #3 – Learning From Others

Effective Leadership #4 – Gaining Experience

Effective Leadership #5 – Comparing Leaders and Managers

Effective Leadership #6 – Developing Strengths in General

Effective Leadership #7 – Building Personal Strengths

Effective Leadership #8 – Mastering Roles

Effective Leadership #9 – Evaluating Key Leadership Roles

Effective Leadership #10 – Preparing to Lead

Effective Leadership #11 – Staff member recruitment

Effective Leadership #12 – Forming the team

Effective Leadership #13 – Exercising Authority

Effective Leadership #14 – Delegating Tasks

Effective Leadership #15 – Process of Delegation

Effective Leadership #16 – Effective and clear communication

Effective Leadership #17 – Dynamizing Groups

Effective Leadership #18 – Leadership Types

Effective Leadership #19 – Military Leadership Model

Effective Leadership #20 – Collegiate Leadership Model

Effective Leadership # 21 – Decision Making

Effective Leadership #22 – Goal Setting


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