It is easy to conclude that Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle would not have attained the highest position in their respective nations had there not been a crisis. [I believe that Churchill's second prime ministership should not count because by then he was a former prime minister and a national hero.]
Are there any circumstances in which such types of leaders can attain the top job without a crisis or a perceived crisis?
I believe that people do not opt for the unusual or eccentric leader unless there is a compelling reason to do so. When the waters are calm, they will choose a B or even a C leader over an A+ one because (1) they don't know the person is an A+ leader and (2) the B or C types seem to be safer choices.
The extraordinary leader may perceive that the waters are not truly calm, but until others agree with that assessment, their chances of attaining the top spot are small.