The best leaders can lead from anywhere–the top, bottom, or middle. It may be counterintuitive, but any leader who doesn’t dig in and get their hands dirty won’t last long.
In the Navy SEAL teams, this philosophy is ingrained in each candidate from Day One of training, but especially for the officers. Naval officers attempting to successfully navigate the insanely rigorous selection process are taught to lead by example in everything they do. They are expected to be at the head of the pack during runs and swims and managing the obstacle course. This is the fastest way to garner initial respect from the rest of the class–willingly doing what everybody else does, only better. These standards only increase the further you move through the training funnel.