Little previous research has examined leadership from a role-based perspective. Those scholars who have studied the subject have focused on the emergence of high-status individuals within a group into complementary leadership roles, with other group members adopting follower roles. In contrast, the current inquiry examines the networked and distributed form of leadership. It is proposed that firstly, executives need to be prepared to adopt “leadership roles” complementary to those of other group members and secondly, that executives need to be prepared to switch leadership roles and membership of groups in order to fulfil their leadership responsibilities. The concepts advanced provide an insight into the distributed form of leadership, and also the nature of leadership as a network of relationships. Leadership is characterised in terms of role, with each executive within a group adopting one of the available leadership roles. All group members contribute towards the tasks of leadership, none are characterised as adopting purely follower roles.