The leadership that you mostly talk of is not leadership at all. It is just hunger. It is an inner hollow that wants to be filled by the number of followers.
There is also a more real, more joyful, non-dual model of leadership, where to be a leader you don’t need followers. To understand that you must know what leading really means. Who is it that leads?
To lead means to be in the front. To be the first. What does the first mean? The first means that before which there is nobody else, nothing else, right? That is the first. Whenever you do something, there is something before what you are doing. The leader is the one who does something in front of which there is nothing else. The thing that you have in front of you is called the cause or the reason. The reason comes first, then comes the action. The cause comes first, and then comes the effect. To be a leader, you have to be first, so you have to be with the cause, with the reason, which means that in front of you there is only cause-lessness. In front of you, there is only reason-lessness. You do not really know why you are doing something. It’s a thing of the heart. It’s mystical.
Even if your actions seem to benefit the world, yet there would be some hidden, personal profit involved. If not financial, then emotional. Matters of fame and prestige and felicitation. Matters of ego. There is always a reason. The leader is the one who is not working on the reasons prescribed by the mind. His central motivation comes from a very reasonless point.
His motivation is not that there must be 20 people behind him, respecting him, adoring him, and such things. The leader is the person who is now with the first. The leader is the reason who doesn’t have anybody ahead of him. Not even himself. We have our minds ahead of us. Our mind leads us. The leader is the person who refuses to be led by his mind. The conditioned mind, that is. We are talking of the usual conditioned mind. The leader is the fellow who refuses to be led. The leader, therefore, is an innovator in the real sense. The leader is, therefore, the pathbreaker in the real sense. He doesn’t need a trail behind him, an army behind him. He doesn’t need a crowd in front of him. He doesn’t need people to salute him. Leadership is something very very internal.