One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you. ~Dennis A. Peer
The semi-mystical mix of qualities, attitudes and behaviours that make or define a leader will provide plenty of material for business writers for years to come. The focus is often on what makes the person a leader or what actions define a leader.
How about looking at the situation from another point of view.
What kind of followers or team do you want to lead?
Are you seeking a group that can be easily manipulated and accept your commands without questioning your authority?
Do you want to lead a team of highly independent people who might question the goals and direction of the group at any time?
Do your followers believe you are the smartest, toughest or most courageous in the group?
What kind of people, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours would your “ideal” followers have, and why?
Determining the qualities of the group you desire to lead, can provide insights into your leadership style and goals. It will give some definition of what leadership qualities you expect to project to others, and what qualities or responses you expect to see reflected in your team, and their behaviours.
Not many of us will be leaders; and even those who are leaders must also be followers much of the time. This is the crucial role. Followers judge leaders. Only if the leaders pass that test do they have any impact. The potential followers, if their judgment is poor, have judged themselves. If the leader takes his or her followers to the goal, to great achievements, it is because the followers were capable of that kind of response.” –Garry Wills in Certain Trumpets: The Nature of Leadership