Within a friend group, there are many people with varying temperaments and personalities. Each person will bring something new to the group. Generally you will find more dominant personalities, nurturing personalities and more passive personalities throughout the group.
The passive personalities tend to let the more dominant group members run the show. It isn’t that they do not have any ideas of their own, they are just happy to be part of the group. If they do not want to do something, they don’t have to. If they have something they want to do, they can choose to voice that idea.
Usually passive people are quite content with this arrangement. However, there are moments where suddenly the passive person is taking charge. It is a rare sight, but it does happen. On a small scale think of a group of friends sitting around talking about ordering a pizza. For nearly an hour they debate on what they will order, who will order it and all the other particulars. After sitting there and waiting for a decision to be made, the two quiet people get up and make the decision for them. Before anyone can think twice the two have declared what they are ordering and have left to go and order it. It is executive decision time, and one has been made.
More dominant personalities tend to withdraw in times of stress or chaos. This leaves the leadership role up for grabs. However, where passive people tend to pass the buck in normal situations, there is a tendency for them to take charge or become assertive in stressful or chaotic situations. It is a strange role reversal.
It isn’t that the passive person does not have the skills to lead the group, it is more so that their skill set is usually better suited elsewhere. Every group needs a voice of reason. It needs a person that keeps the group somewhat grounded. It needs someone who is more of a group observer and interpreter. These people tend to be very independent. They love being part of the group, but they need to recharge away from people. Usually they are happy with letting things be and not rocking the boat. However, there are times when they need to step up and take charge. Otherwise, a decision may never be made, or the wrong decision will be made.
Maybe it is just laziness that keeps them from being assertive all the time. Maybe they are content with not having to make a decision unless they have to. Some contend that it is just they way the person is programmed. When the pressure is on, they step up.