We often think of leaders as the people who are officially in charge. A boss, a CEO, and a project manager are a few of the leadership positions that easily come to mind. We would expect that people in formal management positions have skills and personal qualities necessary for making them an effective leader. Many do, but not all.
Just because you don’t have the title doesn’t mean you’re not a leader. Some of the coolest examples of leadership come from people who take charge in situations when a leader has not been appointed. These are people that simply start doing and saying things that others in the group want to support. These actions move the group forward and help them succeed.
Sometimes there is a person officially in charge, but isn’t able to effectively lead the group. These are situations that call for the most talented leaders of all. Someone steps up and helps the group succeed AND manages to do it in a way that doesn’t embarrass the person who was supposed to be leading the group.
Leaders can be found in any situation. If you are the boss, being an effective leader is critical to your success. If you aren’t the boss, great leadership skills will likely one day make you one.