My favorite thing to do when I was airport director was to hire people who I thought might be better than I was, when they had my level of experience. Countless equals thought that this was insane. But it made for fun and great results.
My staff came very close to striking because I wanted to put in their union contract a clause that said that whomever made a suggestion that saved us money would get a bonus of 10% of the first year's savings. (I wanted it in their contract because it was a governmental entity and I knew that the moment the board had to make a big payout, there would be opposition: I wanted to point out we had no choice because it was in the contract. The union negotiators were afraid because (a) it was unheard of, and (b) it could mean that one worker got paid more for real contribution not just for showing up.) Sure enough, the first time we had a significant savings, the board would have scuttled the payment without the contract. More importantly, before the clause we didn't have any worker ideas about saving money and after we had lots, that did save a lot of money.
One person made a huge error that cost almost $20K. For weeks I was vilified in the newspaper because I didn't fire him. When a reporter finally asked why I hadn't, my reply was why would I fire the one person I was confident would never make that error again, when I had just paid 20K to train him?
I think that the leader/manager label only goes so far to tell the real story and neither label really matters, only the actions.