If you have a different idea in mind from other people whom you know, then you are being a leader. How effective a leader you are depends on the different effects you are having on others. If you don't know what effects you're having, you're in no condition to become a better leader. Here's some effects of leadership to consider:
When people in positions of formal authority are abusing their power and doing more harm than good, confusion abounds. People are kept in the dark and rumors fly around. You may be keeping things in perspective, offering a different diagnosis and seeing the situation from several other points of view. You may be gaining credibility while the people in power lose it. If you are earning this respect, trust and confidence from a following, you're having the effects of an informal leader.
When people are enthralled with "the emperor's new clothes" and spellbound by a consensus trance, paranoid imaginations become a plague. People are dreading what comes next, fearing the worst and avoiding rejection by not speaking their minds. You may be telling it like it is, seeing a better future and calming people's anxieties. You may be getting trusted for your prognostication of changes and your confidence in the unfolding processes. If you are looked up to for a panoramic view of possibilities, you're having the effects of a visionary leader.
When people are convinced they are right and hostile toward their critics, tensions will escalate into fortressed stances. People cannot handle other points of view or contradictory outlooks. You may be adding a context to the content of people's thinking or telling a different story about the undisputable evidence. You may be using different ideas, frames of reference and ways to make sense of situations. If you are getting a following for bridging between fortressed positions, you're having the effects of a thought leader.
When people are going around in circles that deal endlessly with the same old problems, frustrations turn into hostilities. People are stressed out by the futility, incompetence and incessant drama. You may be detached from taking sides or positions in the contemptuous conversations. You may be rising above the conflicts to introduce solutions, resolutions and paradoxes. If you are contributing a whole new game to play, you're having the effects of a transformational leader.
Usually we start acting like a leader unconsciously. We merely do what the situation calls for -- without intending to provide leadership or attract a following. Once me make the effects we're having conscious, we can have more of those effects intentionally. We become more effective by being aware of how we came to be a leader naturally.