What if you declared yourself a leader but nobody followed you?
It's not automatic. Even when it is your job title, in the end people decide whether or not they will follow you. I've done my best whenever I'm in a leadership position to create an environment of shared leadership. I'd rather facilitate success than drag everyone there. Still, not everyone responds the way you'd expect.
Ever have someone resist following you? Ever have someone act in an insubordinate way publicly? Even escalating the energy might not work if they refuse to follow.
It is a fair question to ask someone if they will follow you.
They could say "no" and if they do, maybe one of you is in the right place -- or maybe you've just got some more influencing and sharing to do. But, they can't say "no" forever, can they?
Check the rest of the team. Are you, as a team, moving forward the way you planned? Are you achieving your goals? Are you leading, in whatever your leadership style is, effectively?
It is a fair question to ask someone if they will follow you -- but if you have to ask it, something is already off..
-- doug smith