The employees have spoken. See the Best Places to Work 2023!

Career Paths

Best Examples of Leadership Roles

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What is considered a leadership role?Examples of leadership roles

Guide Overview

Understanding the importance of leadership roles

Leadership skills and qualities at work can help advance your career and lead to you having greater overall job satisfaction. Becoming a leader requires that you demonstrate specific abilities in your approach to work and in guiding others. As you practice your leadership skills and advance your abilities, you can make yourself a viable candidate for higher roles to lead individuals and the company toward success. Review examples of leadership roles to understand how you can apply these skills in your profession to position yourself for greater success and upward mobility.

What is considered a leadership role?

A leadership role is a position that requires you to manage people, situations, and items effectively and ethically. Although a leadership role can be both formal and informal, every aspect and type of leadership within an organization functions to shape and guide the organization. Leaders are individuals who can influence others using their abilities, influence, and title to help a project or company progress. A leadership role can help you apply and hone the soft skills and interpersonal skills necessary for success in both your personal and professional life.

Learn more: Are you looking for a new job in leadership? Start here!

Examples of leadership roles

Here is a list of leadership roles to consider if you want to gain more leadership experience or identify ways in which you have served as a leader.


A mentor is an individual who has gained a substantial amount of experience at a company or within their industry and acts as an advisor to someone who is less experienced. They lend their expertise, knowledge, and counsel to provide a wise perspective. Through this perspective, they offer a glance into the future and serve as a reserve of information for the novice. A mentorship can be formal or informal and is a relationship that is developed through a trusted bond where the mentor act for the benefit of the mentee and offers valuable and informative advice to support the mentee in their professional goals.


A coach is someone who offers their skills and knowledge to help individuals improve upon their own skills and abilities. Coaches guide others and businesses toward improvement by focusing on strengths, teamwork, and understanding. This particular leadership role requires the use of many transferable skills such as empathy, communication, and positivity. Coaches provide consistent and constructive feedback based on performance, observation, and quantifiable data. By motivating others using their expertise and support, coaches often serve as leaders to large teams and can offer guidance individually or in groups. Often gaining trust both professionally and personally, those who coach benefit from the opportunity to guide others and typically build long-lasting relationships with many.


A trainer often facilitates classes and guides others through modeling ways to improve their skills, abilities, or knowledge. They tend sessions, lead seminars, or workshops that interactive and are geared toward improving a specific skill set or capability. Trainers can be anyone who shares their knowledge to help others strengthen their own abilities and perform better. The role requires strong communication and listening skills to create strategies and methods for others to follow. Trainers typically function in a formal capacity and because they offer their expertise in smaller and more intense sessions, don’t often build strong personal relationships. They do benefit from professional bonds by forming and helping others form key network connections.


Often based on experience, an established reputation, and knowledge, an influencer guides the actions and opinions of others through example. They can usually wield their authority on a specific subject to generate interest and inspire action. Although an influencer can be a specific and formal role, any individual who can lead and has swayed a group opinion or used their authority and leadership to regulate action and determine outcomes can be an influencer. Influencers use their reputation as experts in a specific industry to impact the behaviors and opinions of others.


Managers are often leaders of small groups of people and are tasked with organizing, motivating, and guiding others to achieve goals. A manager can be a formal role but if you have ever worked in a capacity where you helped to organize or lead a team using your communication, problem-solving, and evaluation skills then you have held a leadership role as a manager. Managers may also be in charge of helping new team members acclimate to rules, procedures, and general company culture by providing informative sessions or leading small informal meetings. Managers are familiar with the inner workings of an organization and may be required to facilitate in the training of new and existing group members within an organization.


If you have ever worked in a capacity where you have identified a problem, sought a solution, and applied it with success, then you have leadership experience as a strategist. Strategists develop plans and step by step procedures by keeping the goal in mind and creating logical steps to guide a team towards achieving that goal.

Developing a strategy and implementing it effectively requires leaders to be inquisitive and take action to discover new methods and procedures to solve problems, often on a daily basis. Strategists are experts at identifying and anticipating problems to plan solutions before issues arise. They implement advanced critical thinking for their process and are very observant individuals.


Leadership positions that require you to be a good communicator, ensuring that you understand others clearly and are understood by them, exist at all levels and in many different industries. A good communicator exhibits leadership skills by using verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual communication to ensure a clear message.

Listening skills are essential to effective communication and necessitate the ability to ask probing questions to ensure complete understanding for all participants. Including a friendly demeanor and communicating respect through language and action reveal leadership potential and are necessary for successful guidance. The success of a project often rests on solid communication skills to ensure that all members are working together toward the common goal.


A visionary is anyone who can see the potential in an individual, group, or organization and uses their influence, knowledge, and strong communication skills to help the group understand, achieve a goal and reach their potential. Visionaries are often highly creative individuals who utilize the strengths of others to see projects come to fruition. Even something like leading a fundraiser or organizing a party for a co-worker can show that you are a visionary who envisions a plan and takes active steps to make it a reality. Visionary leaders often exhibit strong communication skills and are highly persistent.

Role model

Role models serve as examples for others and inspire those around them to action through their own actions and individual personalities. Other people can be inspired by role models and want to emulate them. Leaders serve as role models by being examples of integrity, persistence, optimism, and hope. Role models lead by example and exhibit characteristics and traits that others hope to emulate because they respect and admire them. Although many in leadership roles are role models, it is not necessary to have a formal leadership position to serve as a role model to others within your industry or company. Simply conducting yourself admirably and having a solid and respectable work ethic can prove you to be a strong role model for colleagues.


An example of a leadership role that is necessary at every level is an organizer. The skill to think logically and strategically plan out to organize individuals, events, and programs requires problem-solving skills and critical thinking. Leaders who can assemble a group of individuals and delegate responsibilities effectively so small tasks are completed in steps to accomplish a larger objective are sought after in every industry. Additionally, people who see a logical order to documents or ideas and can arrange them to reveal information clearly and in an easily accessible manner are skilled organizers with strong leadership skills.


Exhibiting the skill to inspire others to action by persuading them, often verbally, is another example of a leadership role. Motivators use verbal praise and various methods of positive reinforcement to help team members work collaboratively towards a common goal. A skilled leader can motivate others and keep teams focused for long periods of time to help guide projects toward successful completion. Motivators have a solid understanding of time management and team capacity and can harness the strengths of individuals within a team to help the collective group succeed. Motivators harness their skills to instill in others the want to work and the yearning for success.

Related Career Guides