Leaders don't find themselves on the sidelines; they're found on the field, in the middle of the play, with their head in the game.
While allowing time for observation and learning is prudent, eventually leaders are those who stop looking and start leading. An entire lifetime can pass you by while you wait and watch from the perceived comfort of the sidelines. But the real task of leadership happens by doing, not observing.
If you want to lead, you also can't wait to be picked. You must pick yourself - start doing that thing you wish others were doing.
Like, right now.
I've found that leaders don't wait to get elected or appointed or chosen by some committee. The best leaders I know witnessed something that needed changing, saw something that needed improving, or found something that could be done better. And then they went and did it.
The first step of leadership is to cross that fine line between watching and doing.