What do leaders actually do? No, they don’t lead, they just ARE. Telling someone to “Go out there and exercise some leadership” is probably one of the dumbest things you can do. Anyone told that sort of thing can go out there and exercise surely some semblance of leadership, and it may pass off as that for a while. The lack of leadership attributes would be discovered sooner rather than later. Also, do put the age-old argument about born versus made to rest for good. Leaders are made, period. Leaders need to be grown, and they need to ensure that they take the time and effort to grow themselves continuously. Yes, leaders ARE. You don’t go out there and BE a leader. You either are one or not.
So how do you know if you ARE a leader, or if someone else IS a leader? One simple clue is that leaders TRANSFORM both themselves and others continuously just by being where they are. Transformational leadership is a rather misleading term, simply because that is one of the effects of leadership. However, the term has found its way into the lingo, as have many similar terms like “Servant Leadership” and “Leadership by Influence”, so we just let it be. Remember, though, that these terms are usually descriptions of a portion of what leadership is all about.
Have things around you changed since you last moved there? Have things around you changed for the better during the last two weeks? Have you yourself improved by any small percentage point, say, around one, during the last day? If you happen to notice that things around you ARE changing, and are changing as a result of YOU, then you just might be manifesting the attributes of a leader!