In the earliest formal orchestras, the "principal violinist" was considered the leader of not only the string section but of all of the sections.
The principal demonstrated leadership through a high standard of playing, that all other players would key to during a performance.
As these early orchestras grew in size, the effectiveness of the principal began to wain. There was a latency experienced by the players furthest from them which caused the entire group to fall out of sync with their other constituents.
This challenge paved the way for a new position, one that we now know today as the "conductor".
As our organizations grow, it's imperative that we (myself included) move from the "do'er" (principal violinist) to the observer/visionary (conductor) - for only then, can you fully align your team's efforts and ensure the music you make together is the very best it can be.