The Northern Irishman, 25, is world number one after winning back-to-back Majors earlier this year, but isn't worried about being targeted by the United States team at Gleneagles next week.
"I was world number one in 2012, but this is my third Ryder Cup and I'm not a rookie anymore. I've got more responsibility," McIlroy told BBC Sport.
"There are still a few guys older than me but I'm somewhat of a leader and will try to set an example and lead from the front.
"Hopefully captain Paul McGinley puts that trust in me and I can go and lead the team out and hopefully get a few points on the board for Europe."
The Ryder Cup begins on Friday September 26.