A good question. Leadership is many things. Most of all it’s service – helping people achieve their goals.
On a well-led team, the leadership flows from person to person. At any particular time anyone on the team may be the person who knows best what needs to be done to move the team forward toward its goals. When that person does or points out what’s needed, he or she is the leader of the team.
Sometimes leaders need to be out in front, showing the team what to do and how to do it. Sometimes they need to be in the middle, helping, encouraging, and removing obstacles. Sometimes they need to be on the side, watching, listening, and learning. Sometimes they need to be on vacation.
A skillful leader knows when to lead, when to follow, when to talk, when to listen, and when to do nothing at all.