Stephen R Covey asserts:
“leadership has nothing to do with formal authority, it has everything to do with influence.”
I happen to agree with him.
If you think about the best leaders you know I am confident that you will see people that have a natural ability to influence everyone around them. Where they sit in the hierarchy makes no difference. They influence both up and down the organisation. They are able to put themselves in other’s shoes and understand their challenges, problems and concerns. In doing so they are able to assert the right influence in order to take a natural leadership position.