Sayyiduna Anas RA relates that Nabi SAWW despatched Sayyiduna Miqdaad RA as a governor to the Mount of Khurmadah.
When he returned, Nabi SAWW enquired from him as to how he had fared in his task.
He replied, "The people elevated and revered me so much that i felt i no longer am Miqdaad. (i,e no longer myselfe)."
Nabi SAWW remarked. "That is how leadership is". Sayyiduna Miqdaad RA replied. "I take an oath upon that being who has sent you with the truth that never again will i accept such a position."
Thereafter whenever people requested him to lead the Salaah (as imam) he refused.
It is reported in Tabraani that Nabi SAWW despatched a certain person upon an expedition and appointed him as ameer. (It most probably was Sayyiduna Miqdaad RA. When he returned, Nabi SAWW enquired from him his experience as ameer.
He replied, "I was a part of the peopel, whenever I turned in any direction, the people did the same and whenever I stopped, they stopped."
Nabi SAWW said, "The leader is at the door of punishment, except he who is saved by ALLAH."
On hearing this the person replied, "By ALLAH, i will never become your governor or anyone else's governor."
Upon this Nabi SAWW smiled so broadly that his noble teeth were seen.
Rafi says, "I accompanied Sayyiduna Abubakr RA on a journey. When it was time for me to leave him i requested him to tender me some advice. He said, "Perform Salaah on its fixed time; Pay Zakaah open heartedly; Observe the fast of Ramadan; Perform Haj, Hijrah and Jihaad are also noble acts (When you may perorm), but never ever accept the position of ameer.
The reckoning upon an ameer will indeed be severe and he will be punished severely. The one who is not an ameer, he will have an easy reckoning.
(Bazzaar, ibnul Mubarak in Kitaabuz Zuhd and Hayatus Sahaba)
Note: The punishment mentioned above will be for that ameer who was dishonest, unjust, oppressive and uncaring in the execution of his duties.