Leadership requires obedience and sacrifice not accolades and praise. If you need the applause, approval and praise of people you will be slow to start, quick to finish and never become a true leader - no matter how many alphabets are behind your name and how many leadership classes you take.
In fact, true leadership can't be learned in the classroom, only leadership theories and principles can. True leadership is learned from failures, trials, errors, experience, mistakes, betrayals, losses, maturity, a moral compass that points true north; a keen sense of self-awareness and a finely-tuned BS Meter. You will need this Meter to detect people on your team and in your space who laugh and talk with you to your face but despise and detest the very ground you walk on.
You have to be able to detect but privately reject them. Count on them always wanting to be on your team or come to your event not to support you - not even to be nosey - but to find more cause to be jealous and more reasons to hate.
You would think haters would want to spare themselves but this is what fuels them. Your success is the gasoline in their hate tank. Learn to smile at the devil but never be fooled into playing kissy-face with the devil in your enemy.
Christians call it discernment. The world calls it being skilled to measure the level of BS in word and deed. Whatever you call it, you'd better have it if you are going to lead. Without it, you are DOA - a dead man or woman walking. It won't be long before you become the prey. As a leader, you are always somebody's target and if you don't get this, you will become the prey. Pray you don't. Pray for discernment. Discernment sheds light on enemies and in the darkest crevices of their plans and schemes against you. Without it, we can merely guess - and it can be costly to guess wrong.
You have to not be swayed by folks' titles and money because if you are swayed by that, they will hold sway over you. No matter your title, they will lead you by the nose because they know that you think you can't do without them and you are oh so enamored by them.
Somewhere along the path of leadership, you will have to walk in courage and show folks that you really don't need them. If they take their money, more will come. If they leave, someone else will take their place. That's just the way it is. You have to lead like that. Otherwise, folks will lead you like that.
If people ever think you need them and can't do without them, they will invariably begin treating you that way and you will be at their mercy. Don't even begin to go there!
Leaders are peculiar people. If you have to fit in, quit and quit now! Leaders don't fit in, they stand out. Some will call you standoffish and if that bothers you, have a seat. In fact, have several. True leaders aren't standoffish, they just can't stand to waste time on anything or anybody that doesn't yield the results they need.
Many want to and do wear the title "Leader," but few will want to wear the scars. Scars that every true leader will have - those that come from making your way up the rough side of the mountain and sometimes sliding back down and all you have to show are calloused hands, bruised backside but a dogged determination to get back up again.
Bottom line. The real difference between leaders? There are true leaders and there are leaders. Most leaders are just leaders. No big deal. They have the title, the office and all the trappings. But that doesn't make them a true leader.