How Do Modern Businesses adopt Functional Leadership?

As management leaders have put it across, functional leadership is all about team empowerment in order to drive wholesome growth within a defined framework.

How Functional Leadership is adopted in organizational framework?

Every organization adopts a stringent leadership model right from the inception. Over the period of time, a consistent leadership style is followed in order to drive organization performance. Functional leadership, on the other hand, requires task based orientation in order to bring in the best performance. As management leaders have put it across, functional leadership is all about team empowerment in order to drive wholesome growth within a defined framework.

Source: FourWeekMBA

Is Functional Leadership based on specific components?

Components of the driving model is simple, although a favorable task orientation is achieved in the beginning, thereby giving way to formulation of strategies in accordance to the skills available.

On the whole, the functional leadership model, can give way to certain specific work based requirement.

This include:

  1. Requirement of the task based role within a stipulated framework
  2. Specific terms of team performance
  3. Individual career aspirations connected to workplace growth

What are steps in the organization to adopt such a framework?

First and foremost, is to draw a target based approach, in order to achieve the stipulated revenue as was preset. Success remains to be a priority, while designing procedural approach in accordance to short term actions, as this remain to be the basis of a functional framework. Actions defined for the team members definitely entail with a stable responsibility distributed evenly in favor of the team members.

Do functional leadership really empower the team members equally?

Since functional leadership is always action oriented a specified target based approach empowers a large number of people performing within the organization. Behavioral approach is not highlighted in the process, hence people domination is not encourages. Each and every member is thus given an autonomy to work in harmony, while responsibilities are shared evenly, to define authority within a team’s perspective.

Do Goal focused organizations adopt the functional leadership model easily?

Organizations which work on a project management framework, actually adopt, such a functionally driven leadership model. Each and every member thus, within a defined group can contribute meaningfully to complete the targets.

Is the concept of individual leader flexible under the framework?

Modern day organizations, especially start-ups, do not encourage the concept of individual leadership at the end of the day! In start-up ecosystems, it can be the whole team working together, and performance appraisals talk about not performances but value driven contributions that spearhead organizational growth.

Is SWOT analysis a part of Functional Leadership? 

Besides, individual SWOT analysis, functional leadership take into consideration a SWOT framework in order to measure team performance. It is important, that in such organizations, strategic efforts are aligned to plan investment of resources. Overall, organizations, newly incorporated within the market, should clearly define the path of success prior to defining operational indices. At the same time, a cross functional planning needs to be done, to encourage informed decisions maximizing the probability of success.

Is Functional Leadership adopted in matured organizations?

Organizations in the matured phase are keen to adopt the functional leadership model, in order to reach the next level of growth.

Adoption of such a framework would require self-assessment tools to be put into place, while deviations from standard targets are measured to improve performance. Organizations at this juncture, invest on a functional transformation, while a strategic planning is imposed to ensure optimal resource allocation to drive business growth.

Is the framework skill-based?

Adoption of pertinent skills remain to be an art, as organizations at a matured stage remain to be completely skill –based to drive team performance. Management of knowledge remains to be a priority in a functional leadership based framework, and each employee is expected to contribute meaningfully through a shared network. Overall, functional leadership is all about a ‘caring and sharing’, while building an intrinsic scope of work in integrated within a team.

Skill deployment is a mandate, but not prioritized individually, which suggests that, any of the individual team members can assume the role of a leader within.

Is Domain Expertise the pillar of Functional Leadership?

Somewhat yes. Domain expertise till a large extent, defines the strength of the functional leaders and that it how it has been.

What have been the major challenges in managing functional leadership models?

Functional Leadership models face several challenges and experts have clearly stated that, developing critical skills in relation to a challenging work role, is important. Thus, while considering the role of the leaders, flexibility and adapting to changing paradigms are generally looked at. Building up a credible outlook within the organization is understood to be mandate while making the team members’ achieve the targets is the basis of the framework.

How can you relate empathy with functional leadership? 

Functional leaders build up on empathy largely, as empathy remain to be a major component to enhance credibility. However, an approach to empathy is built on cultural transformation, while, experts predict that, increasing technology engagement of the team members can help enable an empathetic work environment post pandemic. At the end of the day, the contextual leadership framework, weighs on a well-tuned behavioral approach, fostered in a balanced way within a team framework to maximize productivity.


Functional Leadership is a much broader context. Although organizations across the globe has been readily adopting functional leadership framework post pandemic, still there remains a long way to go! Technology deployment have improved human efficiency all across the globe, although there should be a balance in weaving empathy to build up on desired business outcomes.

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