Growing through the fire service and Life in general we meet all types of people many are what we term as Leaders, Commanders, Chief ect. We have all met those who we would follow into Hell itself and then we have met those we would not want to follow to a hot dog roast, so what makes this group of people so differant and what traits would you like to see in Future Fire Service Leaders.
Whether it's from my upbringing, being in the military, or a combination, I believe a true leader is one who will "set the example", take the heat for his/her crew(even if later the crew's is chewed out), is equal about dispensing the sweet jobs as well as the shi!!y ones, is understanding, and passionate about the job and training. I've had some of these people and like you said- I'd have followed them into Hell. On the other hand, I've been with some that I would deem to be low-lives that I didn't ever want to see again. And then there's the ones that are in between.
rbango hit the nail on the head, leadership is setting a good, solid example in front of your crew. If you are the "do as I say, not as I do" type, your leadership will be mocked by those who serve under you.
Gone, But Not Forgotten - Our Fallen
I think the previous posts have covered a lot of it, but a couple of other things I would add are
1) the thing that is sometimes overlooked - to be a leader you must LEAD - eg don't just stand around at practical drills with your hands in your pockets looking at the treetops
2) treat everyone fairly and equitably - don't give mates special priveledges and deny these to others as this only leads to disharmony and makes the job of leading much more difficult.
But to reinforce what the others have said - the most important thing is to set the example, and lead by example.