Activity 13 79
Activity 13
Leadership Roles
To illustrate the many different potential roles that a leader must play today to
effectively perform his or her job
A Leadership Role Matrix is presented, listing 80 different types of roles that a
leader could potentially be called upon to perform as part of his or her job. Par-
ticipants are asked to select those roles that could be part of their current as well
as future job assignments, personal skill level, and any gaps that might exist
between these skills and required roles. Participants will be asked a number of
questions to develop an action plan to address current and development leader-
ship role needs and any existing or potential gaps.
90 minutes
Handouts 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, and 13.5
1. Begin the activity by explaining the following to participants:
Y Leadership involves playing many different roles.
Y Each role requires specific behaviors, competencies, insights, and knowl-
Y These roles are the building blocks of leadership.
Y The most successful leaders are able to effectively play as many of these
roles as necessary to get the job done.
Y Seldom do you see or hear of a “one trick pony” leader when it comes to
his or her ability to comfortably move in and out of these leadership
Y Leaders need to have an arsenal of different behaviors that they can
instantly call upon to play the part that various situations and challenges
80 25 Legendary Leadership Activities
Activity 13 (continued)
Y Different challenges require different leadership roles.
Y Legendary leaders are sometimes defined or identified by playing just one
of these many roles.
2. Ask participants to think about some of the legendary leaders they admire.
Was there a single role that ultimately defined their entire career or leader-
3. Explain that in this activity, a Leadership Role Model will be introduced. This
role model describes many of the roles that a leader might be called upon to
play during his or her career.
4. Distribute a copy of Handout 13.1 to each participant and spend a few min-
utes reviewing the design of this model:
Y Explain that participants should read each of the Leadership Roles (col-
umn A) presented in this model and its Role Descriptor (column B).
Y In column C, participants should rate the importance of this role to their
current leadership role by assigning a score of 1 (low), 2 (medium), or 3
Y In column D, participants should rate the importance of each role for
future leadership roles that they believe they may aspire to by assigning a
score of 1 (low), 2 (medium), or 3 (high).
Y In column E, participants should rate their personal skill level by assigning
a score of 1 (low), 2 (medium), or 3 (high).
Y Finally, participants should look for gaps between column C and column D
and column E of the model (any lower rating in columns C and D than col-
umn E) and indicate 1 for a gap of one and 2 for a gap of two in column F
for future reference.
5. Allow enough time for participants to complete Handout 13.1. This may
require up to 30 minutes or more.
6. After participants have completed the Leadership Role Model, distribute a
copy of Handout 13.2 to each participant. The questions on this handout focus
on the roles that participants rated as most important to their current and
future leadership roles. Allow a few minutes for participants to complete this
7. Distribute a copy of Handout 13.3 to each participant to complete. Explain
that participants will be focusing on the various roles they identified as
important in their current role compared to those identified as important for
a potential future role. The point to emphasize is that it is important to not
only think about the roles we need for our current leadership roles, but also
those roles that may be important to us in the future.

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