I have been through this situation:
Leadership is about excelling oneself and getting noticed. Then at some point, sooner rather than later, there comes a call to take leadership roles from someone with power. It is usually a call to action, directly or indirectly. Now the the decision is open to the person whether to accept the challenge or not.
It is surprisingly true that there are vacant leadership positions almost everywhere. It is not about filing an HR vacancy. It is about showing that you can do something particularly well, and lo and behold, there are powerful people out there who want to give you more and more responsibilities.
It is the courage to take the challenges and also grow that makes or breaks a successful leader.
More often than not, people tend not to take up responsibilities. It is easy to criticize, easy to be a pedant journalist writing about niche topics, easy to be a professor analyzing case studies..The list goes on. But the surprising thing that I notice is that many of these so-called experts actually refuse to take leadership positions. Or they don’t care.
That is the essence of Lee Iacocca’s question above, which I quoted elsewhere.