You don't have to be a manager or an executive to showcase and use leadership skills. In fact, you don't have to be in charge of anything. Leadership is about influence, and that's a valuable skill for any employee.
How can you show leadership? Create some respect wherever you are. I ran
across a short
piece from Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat Software. It has some good
pointers that you could use no matter what your position is in a company.
Show passion - That's an easy one, and it's infectious. Plus it
makes the job more enjoyable. If you don't have passion, perhaps you're in the
Demonstrate confidence - Showcase what you know and be decisive.
However don't be reckless, and admit when you're wrong.
Engage - Easy to do. You can't lead if you don't ever engage.
As you do these things, pay attention to the places you influence people. Can
you get people to work your way, come around to your way of thinking, adopt the
habits/skills/etc. you show? You might be surprised how well this works if
Collect these stories. Talk about them in interviews and reviews. They might
be the difference between you and the next person.