A leadership vision for 2024

Jan 07, 2024

Embrace significance over success, treat everyone with respect, and challenge conventional thinking for a more inclusive and compelling leadership approach.

In reflecting on my leadership journey, I wanted to recognize some of the principles I’ve worked to adopt that have shaped my approach – all gleaned from the most impactful leaders I’ve encountered on jobsites and in corporate settings.

As you set goals for 2024, you might consider integrating these principles into your leadership style:

  • Pursue significance, not just success. In pursuing professional success, it’s easy for many of us to focus on money and titles as targets or goals. However, chasing these milestone markers can blind us to more meaningful goals. True success comes from focusing on the work, aiming to be the best, and adding value to others. Leaders should aspire to serve, empower, and develop those under their guidance. By lifting others, we collectively rise. This year, shift your focus from chasing success to creating significance through meaningful contributions. You may be surprised how quickly you achieve the benefits of a higher salary or more significant title.
  • Treat everyone as the CEO. For years, even before I became a CEO, I have always believed in treating everyone as if they were a CEO. It’s not because I think CEOs are superior to others – it’s because I’ve observed how others treat them. Employees respect and listen to the CEO and feel there’s something valuable to learn from them. I like to treat everyone around me with these qualities: listening, respecting, and learning from what they have to contribute. Imagine an office or jobsite where people appreciate others for who they are rather than fixating on their roles. This approach encourages collaboration and shared success.
  • Action over motion. Many of us see moving through our to-do lists as progress. It is typical to see construction leaders rushing from meeting to meeting, checking their emails constantly, responding to fire after fire, and making countless phone calls – a lot of fast-moving activity that leaves very little time for reflection or planning. This behavior is known as “active nonaction.” When you focus only on “motion,” you let others set the pace and determine the outcome. As a lean construction enthusiast, I’ve learned to focus on the endpoint and work backward, removing obstacles in my path or navigating around them, which is the action that matters.
  • Embrace diverse perspectives. The construction industry often breeds conformity, with individuals from similar backgrounds fostering a tendency toward groupthink. In decision-making, especially when consensus is easy to achieve, take a moment to pause and reflect. Consider alternative viewpoints and surround yourself with individuals who think differently. A diverse circle provides a 360-degree perspective, unveiling insights and possibilities that might otherwise remain hidden.

Let these reflections guide your leadership journey for a transformative 2024. Embrace significance over mere success, treat every individual with respect, prioritize strategic action, and challenge conventional thinking for a more inclusive and compelling leadership approach. 

Keyan Zandy is CEO of Skiles Group. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.