Leadership in its simplest form is often just what you think; the president of your high school class or the secretary of your science club. However, leadership is much more than that. Leaders are people who take initiative and do things. A Boy Scout who becomes an Eagle Scout is a leader. So is the person who starts a new club.
Colleges like leaders because they do things on the campus. They join organizations and get involved in them. They start new organizations.
The best leaders are those that get involved because they truly love what they are doing. Colleges can recognize the difference between a student who leads an organization because no one else was willing to say yes, and the student who leads because of a passion for the organization.
If you want to show true leadership to a college, get involved. Starting a new club and developing it is a great way to show leadership. But so is getting involved in a current club and working to strengthen the club in some way. It may be increasing membership or enhancing the goal of the club.
For the strongest candidates to the most selective colleges, you will want to show leadership in your area of passion. Does that mean you need to start a new club? No. Does it mean you need to get involved in something that you care about? Absolutely.
Don’t worry about how you are going to show leadership. Find your passion and focus on that passion. Leadership will take care of itself.