Three Components of A Leadership Ethic
First, I shall contend that to be a leader, one needs to have a point of view about the time one lives in. This may mean many things, but essentially, this is about accepting the temporal nature of our world and that change must happen sooner or later. Taking charge of this change is essential in the idea of leadership; and taking charge starts with having a view about what should be.
Second, to be a leader, one needs to have a distinct approach to others. My own views are affected perhaps by Kantian ethics - to always see human beings as an end in themselves and never the means to something. A leader should treat her followers, indeed everyone, as people worthy of attention and care, and this shouldn't be about using other people to get to something. Simon Sinek makes a biological case for what this should be so, which I find persuasive. (See his TED talk) Being a leader, that makes others follow you, is basically getting into this bargain of looking after others, protecting others and indeed, leading others; it is not about, as it appears sometimes, using others for own advantage.
And, finally, to be a leader, one needs to have an understanding of oneself. In our media driven cultures, it is too easy to forget that leadership is different from celebrity or charisma; more, that in fact this is not about us at all. Too many people think of themselves as special people when they are given leadership positions, though this is more about others that give them that position. This is perhaps an original Hindu idea, but let's apply it in the limited context of leadership: That leadership is being debt to your followers. This highlights the responsibility that comes with being - and without that sense of responsibility, leadership is nothing.