There are lots of ways to look at leadership. But before a leaders can ever hope to lead anything else, they need to be able to lead themselves. They follow their own compass before they try to make others follow it. In other words, the best leaders lead by their example, not through their position. Many people assume that authority and leadership are synonymous, but they are not. All leaders carry authority, but not all those in authority are leaders. People who attempt to lead through their position (or solely by virtue of their authority), merely drive people. A true leader is someone who people want to follow.
This applies to any leader, from a CEO to a husband. Driving people to comply through the force of your position isn't leadership. It's bullying. There's drivers. And then there's leaders. If a boss wants her team to show up on time - then she needs to show up first. If a coach wants his team to sacrifice - then he better show them how. If a father wants his children to obey - then he must set the example and model a respectful attitude first. That's leadership.
So before you get to motivate, manage, or mentor anybody else - you have to first exemplify what you want from them. You need to BE the model that they can reproduce. Be the original that they can copy. You need to be what you expect others to be. With a little adaptation of the Golden Rule we could say, "Be unto others as you would have them be unto others."
And if leadership is influence - according to some writers - then there is no greater influence then the example of a life lived right. That kind of leadership doesn't just happen inside the parameters of organizational life. It happens in all kinds of settings - large and small. It happens around the family dinner table, it happens at the bus stop, it happens on the phone, it happens in the staff meeting, and it happens in the boardroom. It happens wherever you go, whatever you're doing, and whoever you're with, because it's who you are.