Why does everyone have to be a Leader?

Why are there so many articles about becoming a leader? What does being a “leader” mean exactly? According to LinkedIn and the many articles by people who consider themselves leaders, it can mean any number of things. It can mean you are wealthy, philanthropic, a keynote speaker, an executive, a peddler of untruths, a peddler of software, a peddler of consumer goods, and the list goes on!

I have interviewed literally thousands of people and some people just aren’t cut out to be leaders. Or, they just don’t want to be one! They like remaining in quiet and glorious anonymity. They don’t feel the need to voice their opinion on every subject. They don’t constantly fight on behalf of themselves and their colleagues for their “right” to more money or more time off. They are happy in their own skin, and don’t feel any pressure to be a leader of others, or to change the world in some colossal way.

It’s funny, but in some innocuous way these are generally the people who others gravitate to. Their quiet confidence lends them some peace, while the rest of the office feels the need to step on the other guy to be heard. Must we put a label on everyone? The Beatles had the idea…sometimes you just need to “let it be”. If everyone is a leader then who are they leading?