Group Leader: What is a Group Leader’s Job Profile

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As a group leader, you’ll instruct, coordinate, supervise, and manage a team or group in a range of settings. You will require special qualifications to execute your duties. You can develop your group leader career in engineering, human resources, education, healthcare, finance, and many others.

What are the specific roles of a group leader?

In your new group leader job you’ll find yourself:

  • Managing group resources allocation
  • Supervising your groups
  • Delegating tasks
  • Ensuring co-operation among employees
  • Driving goal achievement initiatives
  • Preparing team building activities
  • Preparing periodic schedules

Among the traits, you, therefore, need include: radiating confidence, building professional relationships, and inspiring others. Your interpersonal and time management skills must be above average.

Why does a group need a leader?

To perform or succeed. People need coordination and motivation coming from the right leadership to attain remarkable achievement. Followers of any kind of business or institutional group deliver significantly relative to their group leaders’ abilities and courage.

People will only work optimally and give remarkable results when they know they are ultimately accountable to a group leader.

Use your group leadership skills courageously to motivate and influence your people to achieve your common goals. You need to create an organizational culture of excellence to steer others to performance-driven goals.

Modern times are highly competitive and dynamic in the marketplace. As a group leader, you must keep pace with pivotal changes in organizational culture and approach to new changes. Encourage others to train and grow with the times. Make technological investment but also train effectively and sufficiently motivate your teams to avoid frustrations and high employee turnover.

Human resource readiness for change is crucial. You must learn and adjust to how new technologies and dynamism in the market is being taken up by your own employees. Among other things, check out their co-operation, interpretation, reactions, and support to understand if they feel threatened, or uncomfortable or not.

Do you possess the persuasive ability to make others stay motivated and enthusiastically working on their individual goals? Are you able to keep your team laser-focused on delivering exceptional results that keep your organization on top? That’s the strength of a solid team leader.

Does a group really need a leader?

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Yes. A Gallup (2015) study revealed that 50% of job quitters do so citing poor management in their work environment. Biologically, our design needs some form of guidance or, at the very least, consultation. The dynamism of leader-follower relationships is evident in countless species.

Bees, horses, lions, wolves, among others, all manifest the power of group leaders and the dependence that followers have. Group leaders in animal species act in roles that lead to the safety of the group, or their eating habits, or even in reproduction.

For instance, among bees and ants (National Geographic), champions – prospective leaders- go in search of food, then come back to “convince” the group to follow them to the food source. They do this using distinct behavioral patterns to obtain the following.

Human leaders are also crucially important. They organize, bear the vision, make decisions, and steer all to success.

Conversely, a world with no leaders could certainly turn chaotic. Even if there are group leaders who mislead, or aren’t competitive enough if they could do well in leadership, they could always attain incredibly. Competition over resources could probably bring about destabilization and violence in the world. Where visionaries are, life thrives.

What are the types of group leadership?

Group leadership types are categorized styles of leadership that the group leader exercises. The top 5 leadership styles that researchers stipulate include:

1.    Authoritarian leadership styles

Authoritarian group leaders are the dictatorial or autocratic leaders (psychologist Kurt Lewin).

The chief characteristics of an authoritarian group leader include:

  • Micromanaged supervision
  • No room for follower input
  • Complete control of power
  • Total authority and singularity decision remaining

Advantages of the authoritarian group leadership style

This style of group leadership leads to quick decision making especially in critical moments. It helps when the deciding leader is experienced and knowledgeable as the results are always predictable.

Disadvantages of authoritarian group leadership

Overuse of this type of group leadership style comes off as tyrannical and domineering. It drives followers to feel unappreciated, noncommittal, and unmotivated since their input doesn’t count.

2.    Democratic group leadership style

Democratic or participative group leadership style’s managerial traits are:

  • Shared responsibility in decision making
  • Creativity
  • Social equity
  • Enhanced group engagement 

Group leaders exhibiting participative leadership encourage democratic involvement within their teams. They are often depicted as honest, intelligent, fair, competent, and creative.

Advantages of democratic leadership

In participative group leadership, more commitment is experienced on the side of followers. 

The group leader doesn’t dictate in decision making. Every member is encouraged to participate in every process affecting the team.

Disadvantages of democratic group leadership

The participative group leadership style shows weaknesses when the followers are inexperienced and untrained. Decisions and actions made by participation in such circumstances could lead to disastrous endings.

3.    The Laissez-Faire group leadership style

The Laissez-Faire group leadership style is sometimes known as the “delegative” style and it depicts the following chief characteristics:

  • Little guidance by the leader
  • Responsibility to make decisions being bestowed upon every member
  • Total freedom among group members
  • Autonomy

Advantages of the Laissez-Faire group leadership style

There’s no intention to control or direct the group. All responsibility to lead is handed over to the members.

Disadvantages of the “delegative” style of group leadership

Unskilled and inexperienced team members’ choices made could bring everything crumbling and inevitably bring losses about.

4.    Transactional group leadership style

Transactional leadership is aka the managerial group leadership style. It is all about managing followers using a reward and punishment system. The group leader in this case has clearly defined roles and expectations. It is based on efficiency, safety, and defined productivity.

The chief characteristics of the managerial group leadership style include:

  • Clear goals and expectations for everyone
  • Lots of instructions
  • Minimal flexibility
  • Rules and regulations
  • Lots of inefficiency

Advantages of the transactional group leadership style

Rules and expectations are all laid out. There’s thus a clear direction for everyone and evaluation of results is based on a pre-defined target system.

The main cons of transactional group leadership are that it turns out stifling and exploitable if leaders are micro-managerial. It is purely driven by extrinsic motivation with rewards, bonuses, and the fear of punishment as the fuel. Followers are quick to be demotivated intrinsically while putting up a brave face even in the plight of difficulties.

5.    The transformational group leadership style

The transformational group leadership style is characterized by highly charged commitment, motivation, and inspiration among followers.

As a group leader exhibiting the transformational style, you ought to be:

  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Creative
  • Passionate
  • Intelligent

For more on transformational group leadership, click here.

For how do I manage groups as a student group leader?

References

  1. Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/182321/employees-lot-managers.aspx
  2. National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/group/ants/
  3. Kurt Lewin https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317388452_Lewin_Kurt_1890-1947

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