Five Leadership Roles

It’s often been said teamwork makes the dream work. For this to be a reality, you must have the right people on the correct bus in the appropriate seat. Misalignment leads to frustrated team members, disunity, and high turnover. However, dreams can become a reality when the vision is clear, team members are in the correct roles, and the bus is heading forward.

Therefore, the five leadership roles you must have on your team are the following: the visionary, the implementer, the administrator, the advisor, and the motivator.

(1) The Visionary

Business Role: Chief Executive Officer, President, Executive Director, or Founder

Local Church Role: Lead Pastor, Church Planter, Campus Pastor, or Executive Director

Gifting/Responsibilities: Leadership, Vision Casting, and Communication

Description: This person is the leader and figurehead—their name is on the building, book, and brochure. They have very little to do with the daily tasks and are usually in meetings/phone calls most of the day with key stakeholders. They give direction and expect things to get done. A good visionary truly cares about the people under them and knows they cannot do it without them.

Do: Ask them for the vision and the 15-year plan. If you meet with them, schedule a visit, come prepared, and try to keep it to 15 minutes or less.

Do Not: Don’t bother them with petty or meaningless tasks. Instead, ask them good, thought-provoking questions.

(2) The Implementer

Business Role: Chief Operations Officer, Senior Vice President, Associate Vice President, Department Director, or Co-Founder

Local Church Role: Executive Pastor, Campus Pastor, and Ministries Pastor

Gifting/Responsibilities: Operations, Task-Driven, Processes, Oversight, Strategy, and Leadership  

Description: This person is the CEO’s right-hand person. They love to implement the vision and are a very process-oriented type of leader. They tend to sit on boards and in high-level meetings and ensure the CEO only knows what he must know. They probably always have 100 lists in their heads and have a hard time shutting down at night. The CEO must trust this person and is usually their best friend after years of working together.

Do: You will impress this person by meeting your goals, over-performing, and surprising them with unexpected wins. They want to be well-informed without useless details.

Do Not: Don’t be late to this person’s meeting, look sloppy, or be unprepared for an appointment. When asked a question by an implementer, either know the answer or know how to get the answer with confidence. 

(3) The Administrator

Business Role: Chief Financial Officer, Business Executive, or Administrator 

Local Church Role: Administration Pastor, Executive Pastor, and Operations Pastor

Gifting/Responsibilities: Budgets, Systems, Finance, Information Technology, and Buildings/Property Lead

Description: While the COO will give directions such as, “This team does this, and this team is expected to accomplish these goals, the administrator will ask questions like, “What budget line does this come out of?” They will inform the higher-ups what systems will be needed and how much it will cost to get things done. This person’s best friend is Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, numbers, facts, and data. They show value in work being accomplished and answering all their emails on time. This person wants community but struggles to express themselves and build meaningful relationships.

Do: Ask this person to live on excel spreadsheets for equations, numbers, and proven facts. They go on vacation but probably have every detail planned well in advance. It’s perhaps on a spreadsheet somewhere on their desktop. They also tend to hate Apple products and how often their iPhone asks them to update their software.

Do Not: Don’t ask this person to be on stage with a microphone or to spend half the day talking about what they did for fun on vacation. Give me their cubical and leave them alone to get their work done.

(4) The Advisor

Business Role: Chief Human Resources Officer, Coach, Chaplain, Teacher, Manager, Associate Manager, or Team Lead

Local Church Role: Discipleship/Family Pastor (w/people management in their job description), Small Groups Pastor, Pastoral Care, Connections Pastor, Biblical Counselor, Age-Graded Minister at some point in their career

Gifting/Responsibilities: People Management, Relationships, Counsel, Teaching, Care, Developer, Empathy, and Leadership

Description: This is your people-person—everything they do is driven by their relationships. They are who you call at 2:00am, visit you at the hospital, and stop by your desk to simply say hello and to see how your day is going. While they are natural-born leaders, they are not the type-A personality, and it really bothers them when they hurt someone’s feelings. They develop people and find the best in them. They are the person people tell their problems to, and after a conversation with them, you feel better about yourself or at least know how to take the next step. They have a strong desire to lead but don’t want to be overwhelmed with tasks.

Do: Give them people management but don’t overwhelm them with too many processes or systems to learn. Place people under them who are inexperienced but have a ton of potential. Make this person feel loved, valued, and an appreciated team member.

Do Not: Don’t be direct with this person; always tell them something positive, even when you must call them out or share bad news. Don’t yell or raise your voice at this person or fill their calendar with unrealistic expectations. They will kill themselves trying to get it all done as they have difficulty saying no.

(5) The Motivator

Business Role: Event Planner, Coordinator, Host, Speaker, Creative Director, or Campaign Lead

Local Church Role: Age-Graded Programming Minister (Children’s and Student Ministry), Creative Director, Event Planner, and On-Stage Personality

Gifting/Responsibilities: Planning, Fun, Environments, Evaluation, Dreaming, and Futuristic 

Description: This is the life of the party type of person and cheerleader—they can make a dead room come alive. When you ask them to plan the party, they probably reply, “I am the party!” They love to have fun, bring energy to the room, and tend to drive your administrator or implementer crazy. They have many friends and probably do something with multiple friends each night of the week. They tend to buck the status quo and can make senior leadership roll their eyes. At the same time, they are very passionate people and want to see others do well. They have tender hearts when you pull back the curtain but can easily frustrate people. 

Do: Tell them to plan the party, don’t micro-manage them, and know you will probably have to send several reminders if you want them to remember a specific task. Tell them a vision they can run with, and they will often surprise you with ideas you didn’t even know were possible. They are naturally comfortable in front of people and usually have never met a stranger.

Do Not: Don’t hand them a ton of responsibility, petty tasks, or the same old stuff to do. This person often is looking for what is next and wants a challenge. They sometimes can overpromise and underdeliver.