Showing leadership: "How leadership is shown
Leadership works through influence. It's easier to see how it works by talking about a similar albeit different type of influence: selling. The difference is that selling is self-interested, leadership is not. There are acts of selling, but nothing is sold unless there is a corresponding act of buying. Similarly, an act of leadership is only complete if there is an act of following. Bear in mind that leaders have followers but discrete acts of leadership entail only discrete acts of following.
But, you object, isn't it necessary to have a grand vision or inspiring influencing skills to show even a small act of leadership? No. And this is another empowering benefit of thinking in terms of leadership acts. High profile leaders like chief executives or heads of countries need to be visionary only because they are often promoting a large scale change or advocating fundamentally new values on issues where there is strong resistance.
They also need to be visionary to get chosen over stiff competition for high office in the first place, which is why being a leader isn't for everyone.
But all employees can show some small scale, local leadership even if they are not interested in, or capable of, being a leader. You might scoff at the idea that promoting a minor change should be dignified by calling it leadership. But this shows how focused you are on heroic positional leadership."