A lot of griping about leaders doesn't lead to any solutions if the problem itself are the constituents (or better said, their participation and behaviour). This is true for countries, businesses, schools, sports teams, and yes, choirs and orchestras. I've recently had a discussion with one of the amateur ensemble board members that I have worked with about the problem of a dwindling amount of players in a particular section. The blame was partly shoved to my plate, whereas the real problem lay in the fact that the players that felt uncomfortable and therefore left were 1. attending rehearsals where they were the only player of their section because the others didn't attend for various reasons, 2. or they themselves didn't attend enough rehearsals because of various work/family reasons. All in all, lax attendance was the real culprit, causing a downward spiral of motivation within that particular section. The rest of the ensemble didn't have any problems (except for the fact that that particular part was thinned out and sometimes completely absent or technically inadequate). It goes without saying that it makes my job as a conductor difficult to perform adequately.
One of the things that was stamped into our education in the USA not only during school, but also at sports activities, orchestra, and swimming, was the fact that participation and attendance was a large part of your grade. Perfect attendance was rewarded, absence was frowned upon, and only with a doctor's note could one get free. The USA (back then) knew that the group only functions as a whole when its constituents are dedicated to whatever goal it has.
I am constantly thinking about my role as a conductor, and I think (and hope) that I've evolved over the years. If that's for the better, I'm not sure. I'm sure that youthful enthousiasme and wit has its benefits. Age brings wisdom, sagacity, and understanding of the whims of man, but also fatigue and impaired mental capacity due to stress factors. It might might also bring a bore-out if one does not find the proper motivational freshness.
To not diverge too much, the point of this is that a certain simple saying has been my mantra for the past 6 approximate months. Make it better. Find a way with respect, calmness, and clarity to help the musicians constantly find a better sound to fit the score. When the personal ego gets in the way, one must remind oneself that the musicians are looking for your guidance to make the whole sound better.