This sounds like a classic oxymoron, same difference, right? Right. How can you be a leader and command a group of followers when you are not in a leadership position to command and lead?
Still, I call myself a leader when I treat everybody with due respect like what a real leader should do, greeting everyone with a smile and bellowing out good morning to colleague walking from afar.
I call myself a leader when a group of colleagues complain and I chip in, “What’s the solution? We won’t get anywhere without that.” In other words, what’s the use of complaining? Let’s focus on the real thing. I did steer the herd away from their favorite indulgence.
I call myself a leader when I recognize the positive forces around me and try to encourage that force by letting people realize their own positivity. Like telling people, “You are so positive! I like working with you.”
I call myself a leader when the manager joined the pack in steamy gossips and I, instead of succumbing to this group pettiness, cracked open the door and said a doctor was passing by, which put them back to work.
I lead by example, by simply being the role model that I have aspired to be. Everyone can be a leader in his/her group. Everyone can inspire and influence, command respect and authority, by exemplifying our values and principles.
Everyone has an ideal self. Be that self. And you are the leader.