Bitcoin's problem is not a lack of a leader, it's problem is that the leader is Gregory Maxwell at Blockstream and he's a terrible decision maker. Blockstream is the source of the refusal to bump the block size.
Indeed, the block size debate did not stalemate. It resulted in the small blockists winning, due to the much more aggressive tactics they used (e.g. hiring a bunch of developers then asserting they'd all quit forever if the block size were changed).