Holding a formal leadership position isn’t necessarily the same thing as leading. Leading means seeing a future and rallying people to join you in reaching it, often without step-by-step instructions.
One editor of the school newspaper might do all the basic requirements of the job, exactly as every editor before her has done. An editor who’s also a leader sees what could be done better or differently and says, “Follow me.”
Here’s a past post on how to be a leader without a leadership position.
Another one with some of Seth Godin’s wisdom on what today’s leaders must do.
And a final one with the college admission version of author Simon Sinek’s leadership lessons.
If you want to be a leader, don’t fixate on—or stop at—getting picked for a leadership position. Instead, start leading.