Being considered a leader in our society is the ultimate compliment. "Leadership has become the universal vitamin C pill," says psychologist David Campbell of the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, Colo. "People seem to want megadoses ."
 No wonder. Leadership bestows power, commands respect and, most important, fosters achievement. Unlike vitamins, though, leadership skills can't be easily gulped down. They must be carefully cultivated .
 Contrary to popular belief, most good leaders are made, not born. They hone their skills in their everyday lives. But which do they cultivate? How do they (and how can you) get others to follow?
 Always give credit. Many leaders note that the most efficient way to get a good performance from others is to treat them like heroes. Giving public credit to someone who has earned it is the best leadership technique in the world. It is also an act of generosity that's never forgotten.
 Giving credit is more effective than even the most constructive criticism, which often hurts rather than helps. Kenneth Blanchard, co-author of The One-Minute Manager, agrees. "Catch people doing something right!" he says. Then tell everyone about it. The loyalty you will generate is arguably the most important currency a leader has.
 Take informed risks. "The best leaders know that taking a risk is not a thoughtless exercise," says management consultant Marilyn Machlowitz. "Sky divers don't go up in an airplane without checking the parachutes beforehand."