“The best leaders are those the people hardly know exist.
The next best is a leader who is loved and praised.
Next comes the one who is feared.
The worst one is the leader that is despised.

If you don’t trust the people,
they will become untrustworthy.

The best leaders value their words, and use them sparingly.
When she has accomplished her task,
the people say, “Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!”
-Lao Tzu

Leadership isn’t based on titles, although that is, unfortunately, how we value it in society. To me, true leadership–the kind we recognize when we see it, instead of when we’re told to see it–is based on an individual establishing a sense of trust, skill and support in those around him or her, and particularly those on the same team.

Servant leadership goes even further, taking the “I” out of the equation and allowing the team–every part of the team–to take precedence and working jointly so that every member reaches his or her highest potential. It still all comes down to trust and support, though.

One more oldie but goodie by Lao Tzu:

“To lead people, walk beside them.”