The Complete Guide to Functional Leadership and How it Can Help You Become a Better Leader

The Complete Guide to Functional Leadership and How it Can Help You Become a Better Leader banner image

Functional leadership is a way of leading that focuses on the function of a particular task rather than the relationship between the leader and their followers. This leadership style has been around for a long time and it’s still used today. It is often used in organizations that are trying to save money by cutting down on staff or when there is an urgent need for someone to step in and do the job, but there isn’t anyone available with all the necessary skills.

The main idea behind this leadership style is that you focus on what needs to be done, rather than who needs to do it. You might be able to get things done faster this way, but it can also lead to some problems if your people don’t feel valued or if they feel like they’re being ignored.

What is Functional Leadership Theory?

Functional leadership theory is a type of leadership theory that focuses on the functions and tasks that managers have in an organization.

The functional leadership theory was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton and they published their findings in the book “The New Managerial Grid”. It is based on the idea that managers should focus on tasks rather than people. They argue that there is no need to be concerned with how employees feel, but instead focus on what they need to do to get their job done.

This theory states that managers should not be concerned with how their employees feel, but instead focus on what they need to do in order for them to get their job done.

functional leadership concept
functional leadership concept

What is Functional Leadership Style?

The functional leadership style is a leadership style that is based on the principle of task accomplishment. This type of leadership style is based on the idea that the leader should focus on getting tasks done and not focus on how people accomplish the tasks.

In this type of leadership, there are no rewards for following orders or punishments for not following orders. The leader has to be able to see what needs to be done and does not need help from subordinates in order to complete it. The leader has to trust their subordinates with their work and let them do it without micromanaging them.

What is functional approach to leadership

Functional approach to leadership is a theory that states that leadership is the process of getting people to do what needs to be done. It also states that leaders are not responsible for the motivation of their followers.

The functional approach to leadership focuses on the tasks that need to be accomplished and how they are completed, rather than on the relationships between people involved in the process. It suggests that leaders should not spend time trying to understand or motivate their followers, but instead should focus on making sure they have the resources they need and then make sure those resources are used properly.

Benefits of Functional Leadership

Leaders who are focused on the functional aspects of their work are able to get more done in less time. They can also identify and delegate tasks to people who are best suited for them.

Functional leaders also have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

This helps them to fill any gaps in the team and make sure that they are not overloading themselves with tasks outside of their expertise.

functional leader
functional leader

The advantages of functional leadership are:

  • It provides more opportunities for employees to develop their skills -It allows for more creative ideas to be shared
  • It fosters better communication between team members, who can better understand each other’s strengths and work together to find solutions
  • It provides for a more inclusive culture, which can lead to increased productivity and retention

The disadvantage of functional leadership is:

  • It can be challenging for employees to know where their boss stands on certain issues
  • Leaders don’t always have the opportunity to provide feedback in order to improve performance
  • It requires employees to be trained on the specific methods that their supervisor uses
  • It can cause employees to disengage from the job because they aren’t feeling challenged or motivated

How does functional leadership compare to other leadership styles?

The functional leader is most effective when they have a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as their team’s strengths and weaknesses. The ability to delegate tasks to those who are best suited for them is also important for this style of leadership.

The transformational leadership style is a more democratic leadership style where the leader motivates followers by sharing their vision for the future, and inspires them with a sense of mission. Transformational leaders are also great at building trust with their followers through honesty, transparency, and openness.

Lastly there is the laissez-faire or disengaged leadership style which has no direction at all. This type of leader lacks any form of motivation or inspiration for their team members and they are not engaged in any way with their team members.

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders

Functional vs traditional leadership

Functional leadership is a style of leadership that is focused on the specific function of the department. The manager will have little to no input on the other areas of the organization. This can be seen as a way to reduce conflict in an organization.

Traditional leadership is a style that is focused on managing all aspects of the organization and its departments. This type of leadership may lead to more conflict in an organization, but it also has benefits like better communication and understanding between departments.

The functional style is best suited for an organization that has clear-cut goals and objectives, while traditional leadership would be better suited for organizations that are looking to grow or change their focus or strategy.

Functional leadership is a type of leadership that focuses on the outcome and not the process. It is a more democratic style of leadership and it can be used for larger groups of people.

Traditional leadership is a more hierarchical style of leadership that focuses on following a set process in order to achieve an outcome.

Traditional leadership is more focused on people, whereas functional leadership focuses more on tasks. Traditional leaders are more interested in what others think about them, whereas functional leaders are not concerned with how they are viewed by others.

What are some functional leadership examples?

Some examples of functional leadership include “functional heads” in schools, which are teachers who are responsible for a certain subject area. Another example is the “functional manager,” which is someone who takes care of one or two aspects of a business, such as finance or marketing.

  • A manager who is responsible for the operation and development of a department or group within an organization,
  • A leader who has been assigned to oversee a particular project,
  • A leader who is in charge of one or more teams and their day-to-day operations.
leadership mentoring
leadership mentoring

Which leaders use a functional leadership style?

In today’s world, there are many different leadership styles that can be used. But what is the most effective? Some say that a functional leadership style is the most effective because it includes both task and people management. A functional leader is able to take care of all aspects of leading a group or organization.

The following leaders are known for using functional leadership styles:

  • John F. Kennedy
  • Jimmy Carter

Leaders that use a functional leadership style are more likely to be successful in the workplace. This is because it focuses on the task at hand and delegates tasks to other employees.

How does functional leadership style affect followers?

Leadership style is a set of behaviors that leaders use to communicate with their followers. Leadership styles are usually categorized into two types:

Task-oriented leadership style and relationship-oriented leadership style

There are many factors that affect how followers perceive their leaders’ behavior. One of these factors is the type of leadership style that the leader uses, which could be either task-oriented or relationship oriented. For example, in a task-oriented leadership style, people are expected to follow instructions and complete tasks as they are given to them by their boss without any input or discussion. In this kind of environment, it can be hard for people to feel fulfilled or valued and they might not be engaged in what they do on a daily basis.

On the other hand, in a relationship-oriented leadership style, people are expected to be open with their boss and provide feedback and suggestions on how the job can be done better.Additionally, the leader’s personality also plays a role in how followers perceive their leaders’ behavior because different types of personalities which can be task-oriented or relationship oriented can affect the way they lead. For example, task-oriented leaders might seem like they are unapproachable and act in a cold-hearted manner which can make them seem distant. On the other hand, relationship-oriented leaders might be more approachable and empathetic which might make them more relatable.

The Complete Guide to Functional Leadership and How it Can Help You Become a Better Leader Pinterest Pin

How to Implement a Successful Functional Leadership Strategy in Your Organization

A functional leadership strategy is a way to organize the workforce in a company. This strategy can help you to understand how different departments work and what their goals are. It can also help you to make sure that there is a clear understanding of who does what, and that people in your company are able to move around between departments if they want to.

There are many ways for implementing this type of leadership strategy, but one of the best ways is through a matrix organizational structure. With this structure, employees have one boss from each department that they report to.

Why Functional Leadership Matters and How It Can Make You a Better Leader

In this article, I discussed what functional leadership is and why it matters. I also talked about how a functional leader can make you a better leader.

I started by defining what functional leadership is, and then I discussed the importance of being a functional leader in the modern workplace. After that, I talked about why it’s important for leaders to be able to lead in all aspects of their job, not just one or two. Finally, I shared some ways that you can become a better leader by embracing your functional leadership skills.

In conclusion, functional leadership is important because it helps to make you a better leader. It enables you to lead in a way that is more sustainable and that has a positive impact on your team and organization.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top


Enter your contact details and I will get in touch!


Send a Message. I will respond quickly!

Try QuickBooks free for 30 days

Get started with QuickBooks in 30 minutes*.

*Based on a survey of small businesses using QuickBook Online conducted September 2018.