Leaders create a vision, enroll others to help enact that vision and empower them to do what they ordinarily would not do. Thus, leadership is different than managing.
Being a leader is not a position. Nor is it an assigned responsibility, title or set of “reports”. It is a context or perspective on how you see yourself. And it requires a commitment to continuous improvement starting first with yourself.
It means taking the responsibility and initiative to have an impact on a team or in an organization (or more generally, in the lives of others). Leaders actively assess, question and ultimately support and empower those around them. Leadership, therefore, is active engagement in the world around you, both in the close circle of your world, as well as the broader world we all share.
Leadership requires a few inherent attributes: It includes empathy and a willingness to understand and respect others. Vision and the openness to see a bigger picture and its importance. Motivation, because a motivated leader begets other motivated leaders and teammates. The ability to communicate across different personality and behavioral types and cultural differences. This ability to communicate and interact is critical for a leader to master, even with their own unique style.