“People become leaders by internalizing a leadership identity and developing a sense of purpose. Internalizing a sense of oneself as a leader is an iterative process. A person asserts leadership by taking purposeful action—such as convening a meeting to revive a dormant project. Others affirm or resist the action, thus encouraging or discouraging subsequent assertions. These interactions inform the person’s sense of self as a leader and communicate how others view his or her fitness for the role.”
Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers. Herminia Ibarra, Robin J. Ely, Deborah M. Kolb, Harvard Business Review. September 2013.