There are leaders and there is leadership. Those are two very different concepts. It is important to know that difference because a clear understanding can spearhead growth for those who seek.
So what is that "such a big difference" that I have to talk about it. Oh! It is big. Very big in fact.
A leader is about other people - someone who impacts other people's lives because his or her decisions influence their lives. Most people want to be leaders because it is a powerful and ego boosting position - it's something to aspire for. Our culture fawns over the rich and powerful. Oh...do we not want to be in those positions? Unless you are on the fringes in your heart, almost all of us have such aspirations. Unfortunately, being a leader tells us nothing about leadership - Kim Yun Sung is a leader.
Leadership, on the other hand, has nothing to do with leaders. Of course, it would be nice if our leaders had true leadership qualities. But leadership is not about leading others. It is primarily an individual pursuit - a personal pursuit over and above anything else. It is your ability to have the skills that are critical to succeeding in life and work. The ability to manage situations and people. The ability to create more of something. The bigger your goals, the more powerful leadership qualities you need. Leadership does not have to start with you having a team to manage, nor does it stop at any point in time.
Leadership is about developing skills on a continual basis to better serve whatever cause you support, or the purpose you have set for yourself. It is about value clarification, learning, and adapting. But most importantly it is about serving a purpose to the best of your ability, with complete dedication and humility. That is why Gandhi made decisions that bewildered a lot of people. He was authentic and true to himself above all.
Do not wait until you have a team to manage, or a project that you care for. Start building your leadership skills from now on, and keep at it everyday. Read, engage, and experiment on a daily basis...there is so much to learn and grow.
Don't focus on being a leader. Choose to acquire leadership. That is in your hands and you do not have to wait on anything to do that.