I've come across this very thread a dozen times at least and each time, left it be thinking it is not my place to comment on it. However, I believe I have an answer to your question. It is an assessment of what leadership often is in many cases and what it should be.
Leadership is an umbrella term that encompasses thousands of different types of "leaders". It is comprised of people who for whatever reason have stepped up to the plate and have decided to take responsibility for accomplishment of a task through utilization of a team.
But there should be more to leadership than that. Many leaders in my limited experience are focused solely on accomplishment of the goal at hand. And to say that the goal at hand should not be the central focus is wrong, but to say it should be the only focus is equally wrong.
Leadership, in its truest form, is being able to motivate your subordinates to perform the goal at hand. It is also being the one who holds the career for which the death knell rings when failure should be at hand. Because leaders that is what leadership is; it is being the person to blame when failure is at hand and the person who points to his men for whom gratitude should be given to when success is at hand.
Leadership is knowing that you are the least important person on the team (whether it be Military or Private Sector), because the team can function without you. You can not function without the team. And it is for that reason that you should always place their welfare first, because they are the people who allow you to do your job. They assist you in accomplishment of your goals or completion of your mission which is why a good leader should never forget that the welfare of their subordinates should always come first.
Sir, great question, for my input I'll have to concur with John C. Maxwell's thoughts on the subject, according to Maxwell... "Leadership is influence--nothing more, nothing less."
Although concise, I believe there is a lot to consider in those few words. I have reflected on Dr. Maxwell's statement often over the years, and consistently go back to it when analyzing historical leadership examples, and use it as a lens to view my own leadership, as well as my growth as a mentor--on the subject of leadership.
Excellent topic, thank you for posting, Sir; I look forward to seeing others' ideas on the subject!