“The episode of SBS Strong Heart that aired on December 15, 2009 is well-known in K-Pop as the episode in which Taeyeon spoke about her desire to step down as the leader of Girls’ Generation. While she stated that she would like the members to manage themselves, it appears that Taeyeon’s words weren’t without further justification. As the years went by, it became more evident to fans and non-fans alike that the members of Girls’ Generation treated each other like family and that they viewed each other as equals. From a leadership perspective, Taeyeon’s “resignation” came about as a transformation from one type of leader to another as she attempted to step away from the leader image in order to let the other members shine.
To this day, if you ask any SONE who the leader of Girls’ Generation is, most will name Taeyeon without a second thought. Even after speaking about her insecurities as the leader of Girls’ Generation, Taeyeon has continued to grow and transform as a leader. She continues to play the role, not just to Girls’ Generation members but to SONE as well. “