When somebody asks a question in a meeting, whom do people look to for the answer? Whom do they wait to hear? The person they look to is the real leader.
Identifying a real leader can be easy - if you remember what you're looking for.
Don't listen to the claims of the person professing to be the leader. Instead, watch the reactions of the people around him. The proof of leadership is found in the followers. People listen to what someone has to say not necessarily because of the message, but because of their respect for the messenger.
So I must ask you this: How do people react when you communicate? When you speak, do people listen - I mean really listen? Or do they wait to hear what someone else has to say before they act? You can find out a lot about your level of leadership if you have the courage to ask and answer that question.
Excerpt from The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership