Chiellini was speaking after the Azzurri's 5-0 thrashing of Faroe Islands.
"I think I'm a leader of the defence. Perhaps you can't tell from the stands or the television, but those on the field know," he told RAI.
"The important thing is to create a team unit that has several leaders. We all get on great and have a strong rapport, so everyone is ready to work for their teammates."
The Euro 2012 qualifier at the Stadio Franchi represented Italy's first clean sheet after conceding 10 goals in seven games.
"It's nice every now and then for us defenders not to work too hard! It was important to get off to a strong start and get the result safe, as it made life easier for ourselves.
"We admittedly took our foot off the gas after a while, but that was to be expected."