Since Mr B already covered the picking Alliance Captain above I won’t go into that, but I will expand on our own team’s structure as far as leadership.
Basically, the Pink Team is split into 3 groups (we call them divisions): Mechanical, IT, and PR. Mechanical handles anything and everything to do with the robot, IT handles everything to do with computers and support (web design, animation, scouting, etc), and PR handles everything between the team and other teams/the community (spirit, outreach, chairman’s, community service, lego league, etc.). Each division has a leader and a number of subgroups which have group leaders reporting to the division leader.
For a team just starting out this big pyramid of organization is probably overkill, but the important idea to take from it is that everyone in the pyramid knows what his/her responsibilities are. No matter who becomes the team “captain” or “president” or “leader”, the hardest part of their job will become making sure this is true for everyone 24/7.
In our team, leaders are not chosen democratically but are appointed by the people above them. For subgroup leaders, this usually means the division leader, and for division leaders a close consultation between the mentors and other division leaders.
As for choosing leaders, there are really three very important criteria to consider. These are natural leadership ability, albeit with reliability/integrity, and ability/enthusiasm for the subject. A person missing leadership skills will fail to motivate people with reliability and enthusiasm. A person missing integrity will probably get you there and accomplish the mission, but will destroy team trust in their wake. Finally, a person with leadership skills and integrity, but missing an enthusiasm for their subject will probably get bored/frustrated somewhere through the project, either way delivering a lackluster product.
I understand these are very hard things to gauge, especially in a young team such as your which hasn’t had the time to “feel out” how your people are performing and interacting.
So here is what I propose you do: don’t have any one “team leader”.
Instead, split your team based on specialty; that is, if Woody is into Electrical then he will be head of electrical and responsible for it. If Dean loves Outreach then Dean will be in charge of outreach, and again responsible for its success or failure. All of these leaders should meet regularly so they can coordinate their efforts, make sure that everyone is fulfilling responsibilities, and figure out what to do if someone falls short. If you wish you can have someone, either a mentor or project manager act as “Chair” of the committee to organize meetings and make sure communication doesn’t break down, but make it clear that this person is in no way “in charge” of the committee.
If one person has to take one more than one responsibility, that’s okay too, as long as they can handle it and deliver in the end. If disputes arise over who should be responsible for what and there is no clear distinction, just rochambeau or flip a coin. Some of the best leaders are chomping at the bit for a position, while the others are sitting quietly in the corner, but will rise to the challenge once they’ve been chosen, and it’s impossible to tell if someone is either of these at first glance.
This gets everyone in the habit of accountability and communication between groups, without shouldering the responsibility for the team’s success or failure on any one person.
Hope this helps