I've been batting something around in my mind lately, and it's this thought that leadership ensues from people of deep character and can never really be pursued directly. A similar phenomenon exists as we try to chase happiness. The more you chase happiness, the harder it becomes to attain. Consider this, Jim Collins found that humility was one of the two defining hallmarks of a great leader (intense will was the other). So it seems that in the very moment that we aspire to be a leader and take that mantle upon ourselves, we've ceased to meet the most basic criterion of true leadership. I'll continue to think on this, but in the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy these two quotes that I feel speak to this concept better than I ever could.
"Those are only happy (leaders) who have their minds fixed on some object other than happiness (leadership). Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness (leadership) along the way. Ask yourself whether you are happy (or a leader), and you cease to be so."
-John Stuart Mill-
"Most men pursue pleasure (leadership) with such breathless haste they hurry past it." - Soren Kierkegaard-