Influential leaders identify with followers, make followers feel special and important, and aren't afraid to ask for input - to further enforce that followers have a say. Strong leaders also know the difference between authority and passion, keep their ego in check so as not to distance themselves from followers, and always have clear, simple visions for dictated plans.
To be taken seriously as a leader, whether in your group of friends or your career, you need to focus on your followers. Successful leaders identify with followers and sincerely make others feel important and special. (And thus followers like to feel good about themselves and continue to follow.) To develop powerful leadership skills have a clear, simple vision for yourself and any plans you suggest. Also, remember to keep your ego in check. Humility is important as a strong ego creates a separation between you and your followers. Also don't confuse passion with authority - yelling will get you nowhere and lower other's respect for you. Finally, remember it's okay to ask for input, which again makes followers feel important and influential.