The purpose of this German Research Foundation (DFG) funded research project is to advance our understanding of the cognitive bases of organizational leadership. Most leadership theories since the 60s have viewed the leader-follower relationship in isolation. We challenge this perspective by investigating the social embeddedness of this relation. In a nutshell, we argue (and find) that followers form evaluations of their leaders based on comparisons with how their leader treats other coworkers. This simple but intriguing insight has the potential to change how leadership is theoretically conceived and may help gain new insights in how people should lead their subordinates.