Kirk would have actually needed a natural "talent" of charisma. Something in his personality that makes people want to follow his decisions. That's one important aspect about born leaders.
Pine Kirk didn't have that, in my opinion. He was an arrogant ass that nobody liked.
Then they have their work cut out for them, kicking Kirk's arc into high gear so that he does become the leader that people will follow. I outlined the most important points to cover in my previous post.
Pine is a charismatic actor, so that's not the problem. The problem is the same as for any leaders: his people must believe he cares about them; that he believes in the same things they do; and that he has the courage and audacity to make tough decisions when the need arises (ie, they feel they can trust him not to fold under pressure or make stupid decisions).
Leadership isn't a talent so much as a collection of skills that anyone can learn. The things that can't be faked are things like: are you the sort of person who actually is capable of caring about the good of the group over your own self? And do you honestly believe in whatever it is that defines the group you are leading (because if you don't, you definitely shouldn't try to fake it).
This, plus Spock's arc (most likely him going into an emotional tailspin as he increasingly fails to cope with the events of Trek XI), could take two more movies to fully play out, especially since there also has to an action-based plotline (external threat) and some time needs to be devoted to the other five characters. Maybe they need three more movies.
That's because being an iconoclast (One who shoos off rules and regulations) and a bada** (doing things your own way and trying to look awesome while doing it) are selfish aspects to a character.
If Kirk is an iconoclast/badass in the service of the things that make him a good leader, then those aren't incompatible. For example:
-Starfleet gives him a stupid order that he knows will needlessly put his crew in harm's way, and he defies it at the risk of his career.
-An Admiral gives him an order that he knows is a breach of Federation ethics and therefore threatens the cohesion of not just the group under his command, but Starfleet in general. He defies this order.
-He is forced to roll the hard six. Being a badass like Bill Adama was a badass is a good thing in a leader, and an essential
thing in a military leader.
To me, Pine just doesn't have the presence that Shatner did, and something has been lost in the character. Can you picture Pine's Kirk giving a dramatic speech about the nature of freedom and self-determination (as in "The Apple" or "Mirror, Mirror" or "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), strategizing over chess with Mr. Spock, or quoting famous poets (as in "How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth"). In TOS, Kirk seemed like an intelligent, well-read, deep-thinking leader, a portrayal helped by Shatner's Shakespearean training.
All those elements need to be put into a script before Pine can act them on screen. It will take two or three movies before they can shoehorn even the minimum in, inbetween action scenes. Shatner had the luxury of developing the character in 50 minute chunks every week. Pine has a measly two hours every two years. Of course the poor guy seems more shallow!