Leadership is in vogue.
Maybe this is a bit of a fish tale but I can't remember the last time I've gone 48 consecutive hours without receiving an invitation to become a better leader on either my LinkedIn or Twitter feeds, or from a good old-fashioned magazine cover while waiting in a checkout line. Just click, or turn the page, and grow.
No doubt leadership is popular because it's so important; what was it that Abraham Lincoln said? Something to the effect of: "If you want to see a person's true character, give them power."
Only leadership isn't just about power because leaders, in the truest sense of the word, are really followers. They follow dreams, and their consciences, and right choices even when the mountaintops of equality, justice, or peace are hidden from view and friends are scattered.
It's easy to romanticize individuals like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. because they seemingly singlehandedly changed for the better the course of history for millions. They're popular now but that wasn't always the moniker they wore.
Dr. King proved just how messy and difficult leadership is, or can be. He also proved that when you and I follow our consciences--when we speak and act for what we know is right and just--and things get messy and difficult, we're solidly on the path of authentic leadership.