BC Business Magazine - - Contents -

Lessons in lead­er­ship

Au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism is on the rise in democ­ra­cies around the world. From the U.S. to Tur­key to Ja­pan, pres­i­dents and prime min­is­ters are gov­ern­ing more like strong­men than pub­lic ser­vants cho­sen at the bal­lot box. Canada might ap­pear to be an ex­cep­tion, but Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau shows au­to­cratic ten­den­cies, too. As of this writ­ing, he and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau had re­fused to bend to wide­spread crit­i­cism of their gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed tax changes, which could have se­ri­ous con­se­quences for the na­tion’s small-busi­ness own­ers.

Mean­while, busi­nesses large and small are mov­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, if our cover story is any sign. For “Views From the Top” (p.40), we asked six en­tre­pre­neur­ial ex­ec­u­tives from a cross-sec­tion of com­pa­nies—a Crown cor­po­ra­tion, a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion, a real es­tate de­vel­oper, a soft­ware maker and a cre­ator of bags and ap­parel—how they lead. Each of these men and women has their own style and ap­proach, but all aim to be in­clu­sive rather than dic­ta­to­rial—and to help oth­ers de­velop lead­er­ship skills. “You don’t have to be that wolf-pack leader all the time,” Jamie Cor­mack, co-founder of Her­schel Sup­ply Co., told me. “You can let some­one else take a real role and step up, and you can step back and watch that per­son lead.”

This may be our an­nual lead­er­ship is­sue, but it also de­votes plenty of real es­tate to com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial prop­erty. On page 64, you’ll find Michael Mccul­lough’s thought­pro­vok­ing look at how tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies are chang­ing Van­cou­ver and other North Amer­i­can cities by snap­ping up of­fice space in the down­town core. Mccul­lough, who re­cently joined Canada Wide Me­dia Ltd. as our ed­i­to­rial di­rec­tor, shows that tech’s hunger for such prime real es­tate is no fad. But as new and es­tab­lished play­ers ditch the sub­urbs for down­town—a trend driven by mil­len­nial work­ers’ fond­ness for city life—they may di­lute the ur­ban di­ver­sity they seek.

In “In­dus­trial Dis­as­ter” (p.56), con­trib­u­tor Kerry Gold tack­les a grave prob­lem: Metro Van­cou­ver’s grow­ing short­age of in­dus­trial land. Al­though the deficit might be most acute in Van­cou­ver proper, where con­struc­tion cranes loom­ing over my back­yard near 25th and Cam­bie seem to con­firm a hunch that ev­ery square foot of prop­erty is a condo de­vel­op­ment in wait­ing, other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are also feel­ing the squeeze. More hous­ing is cru­cial, but we also need places to make stuff— and they can’t all be soft­ware stu­dios. Maybe the new pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment could show some lead­er­ship here.

Nick Rockel, Ed­i­tor-in-chief bcb@canadaw­ide.com / @Bcbusi­ness

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