What does leadership mean?

Everyone knows what leadership is, and everyone wants to be, or thinks they are, a leader. However, very few can articulate what leadership truly means. For any organization to succeed, it must have a clear definition of leadership; after all, it is a crucial step for developing future leaders and maintaining the focus and stock of current ones.

Leadership can be defined in several different ways. Some believe it means having business acumen, such as those who have visions, missions, and understand terms like EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization). Some believe it involves the ability to inspire or motivate people, while others draw on the human elements of humility and empathy.
Often, knowing what something isn’t sheds more light on what it actually is. Leadership is not management or commanding authority. It is not about titles or personal attributes. Leadership does not have anything to do with age, seniority, pay grade, title, or hierarchy.

I define leadership as the ability to positively and ethically motivate and influence. Let’s break this down further. Motivate as defined means “to stimulate interest in or enthusiasm for doing something” and influence as defined means “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something or the effect itself.” These two words combined are what I believe leadership is.

Recent events within the past couple of years have re-shaped the way many people think and now they approach life. This not only has an impact on their own self, but also on what an individual brings to the table at work, when volunteering, or when taking on tasks. In today’s complex, changing, and evolving construction industry, having agile leaders is more important than ever. With the right type of leadership in place, the impossible is made possible.

I have always believed leadership comes in all sizes and forms; it doesn’t start from the top, but rather at the grassroots level of any organization (corporate or not for profit). At CSC, it is our volunteers who use their knowledge, understanding, and training coupled with their ideas for a brighter future to affect change and become leaders within their areas of expertise.

At Conference 2022, I was inaugurated as CSC president. My journey didn’t start when I was elected vice-president; it started long before that. Now, I have the challenging task of being a strong, effective leader who can positively motivate and influence not just the executive council and board of directors, but also all our members to facilitate growth and improvements to the association and industry as a whole. However, leadership isn’t simply just dependent on the president. I look and turn to you, to also become leaders in your own respect and to commandeer change, growth, transformation and innovation within our industry to not only safeguard it, but also to take it to the next level.

I’m looking forward to the year ahead, and to receiving your support, guidance, and feedback.

Yours in service. I am CSC.

Kazim (Kaz) Kanani