We see forms of leadership in our everyday lives, whether it is Barack Obama on the news, or the Captain of your Soccer team. In our society, guidance and motivation is essential to maintain discipline.
One essential quality is to be able to speak well in front of the audience, like Barack Obama or Martin Luther King Jr. Obama was successful in convincing people to vote for him, as he had the ability to know his people well enough such that he could provide for their needs, in his words, 'Yes We Can'. Due to all his promises, people started to go for what they wanted by voting for him.
Gandhi had self-confidence, which made people believe in him and follow him in a long March to the seaside to collect their own salt when the British taxed them absurdly for it. The people believed in him because he knew what he was doing, and did not seem to be deterred by the British's actions. The March was later known as the Salt March.
Leadership is not defined by just one form. Sometimes, education and charisma are not essential. In Gandhi's case, he just needed to relate to the people that he knew what he was doing. He did not need to be a rich or very well educated person, he just needed to believe in what he wanted. So, if you want to be a leader, you must know how to motivate people then to guide them. Sometimes, not everything goes your way, so you must learn how to accomodate.
A good leader must also be able to react to situations swiftly, and not idly. For example, due to the Japan Fukushima crisis, the government is putting all their attention on the nuclear crisis and leaving the people to fend for themselves. Such action taken may have been addressing the problem, but the government are bringing down the people's morale, and the people lose respect. Leaders may not be able to fully avoid such problems, but they should try to as much as they can.
Sources: The Straits Times Newspaper + Inferences