A particular pet peeve of mine is when people self label themselves as leaders. I see the words “leader”, “leadership” and “leading”, the same way I look at the word “humble”. A person that calls themselves humble, isn’t. And you cannot say someone is humble without knowing them and how they behave. “Humbleness” is a side-effect of someone’s actions. You are labelled as humble by others that observe and interact with you. The moment you proclaim your “humbleness”, it’s gone.
Managers are hired for many reasons. An important component of that role is to coach and improve the performance of other humans. If they do a good job at that, they can be seen as leaders within the company. They inspire others to be their best version. This is how others see them. Others that have built a relationship with them. Others that have been through hardships with them. If I don’t know someone why should I call them a leader? What information do I have that makes me believe they are one? Despite this, the industry is settled on labelling people as leaders based on their title, rather than their accomplishments.
Unfortunately, I too have to play this game when applying for roles. It is what it is.