Leadership Trends for 2023
What Got You Here Won't Get You There.
How do you become a successful leader?
What worked in the past might not be enough now. Teamwork has changed. The workforce is on the move. There are new standards for collaboration.
Do not rely on things settling down with time. You cannot turn back!
I analyzed 65 articles written by professionals from the business, HR, research, and skill-development industries. The distilled leadership trends will help you stay on top of your game.
Focusing on people has never been more critical.
Should you care about trends?
You may wonder why you should care about trends. Trends can pass, and new ones follow. Yet, we see an undeniable tendency that work has been changing.
Out of the blue, the company moved to a home or hybrid environment three years ago. Many struggle with digitalization, work-life balance, and communication.
The working culture has been disrupted. Priorities have changed. We have experienced:
Rise of creator economy:
The Growth Of The Creator Economy And What It Means For Marketers
Leaders cannot ignore what is happening. Do not be blindsided if you think it does not concern you. Trends influence how you work and how you will work in the future.
Be flexible and in touch with trends if you do not want to miss a train.
About trend analysis
I searched for “Leadership/HR trends” articles between 10/2022-01/2023.
While I certainly did not capture all articles and studies published on this topic. I consider 65 units a decent sample to see if there were some commonalities.
Articles came from, for instance, Crestcom, Forbes, Business Leaders, HR Boost, etc.
I indexed each piece and created a framework of 36 categories based on what was mentioned. Each category had to have at least two mentions.
Key trends to consider
If you expected that well-being was going to be #1, the results might surprise you. The key trends are:
The three challenges for leadership are clear: staff upskilling, ways of working in a hybrid environment and digitalization, and talent development.
The topic of upskilling and talent development come together. Some industry leaders mention talent scarcity and the importance of retaining high performers and managers.
Investing in learning and training programs should be carefully considered if you want to build a loyal and competent staff. Leaders across organizations favor retention over recruiting as a cost-efficient solution.
Digitalization and the utilization of automation run across industries. Call for innovation and usage of smart programs and AI.
The times when working from home was a benefit are long over. Hybrid work is the new normal. Yet, many companies haven’t found an optimal hybrid culture that would be both productive and engaging. You face the challenge of elevating a hybrid workplace this year. How do you plan to provide both flexibility and a sense of belonging?
Employee experience is what matters in 2023. Companies need to provide exceptional employee experiences if they want to retain them. Leaders play a huge role in this process.
Consider upskilling current managers. They need to communicate better and have human-centric leadership. They make people feel safe and treated fairly and equally regardless of their gender or diversity.
Here are some buckets that will inspire and clarify your leadership goals.
Upskilling deep dive
When you hear about upskilling, you probably imagine getting more skills, growing in your field, or getting promoted.
Upskilling is a huge area of development:
Talent development and leadership development should be complementary. Consider even creating a leadership bench. A group of people who will be your future leaders.
For upskilling, you need a learning strategy. I was happy when I read about the necessity of continuous and community learning. This is exactly why I founded leadink.
It is a community of leaders who want to grow. Upskilling happens when you practice. That is why you get weekly tips, bi-weekly case studies, and monthly workshops to practice and learn together. Earn more skills as part of this community:
Every upskilling comes with a process of change acceptance. Leaders should learn to guide their teams and help them understand why learning new skills is critical.
Without buy-in, people are pretty stubborn to work with.
New ways of working
I am not trying to bore you by talking about hybrid work (this guide captures the basics). But you should challenge the way you work:
Do you utilize technologies? Can you automate this?
Do you have the right hybrid culture?
Are your work conditions flexible and reflect current employees’ needs?
Are you agile? Can you act quickly?
How long does it take you to solve a problem?
Do you communicate enough?
Processes are not automatic. They evolve. You should reflect on the latest market standards if you want to stay on top of your game.
I still have a few friends who were presented with “home office” benefits during their interview processes. Seriously?
Ways of working make people loyal and attract new talents. Nothing to underestimate.
Your attrition is small. Culture is fair and fun. Productivity is high. If that is the case, congratulations. You are doing a great job and delivering an exceptional employee experience.
Employees are the most valuable ambassadors. If they are happy, your customers are happy. But you can read about moments of inappropriate language, gender discrimination, or mistreatment.
In light of the rise of the creator’s economy, many people have switched or are thinking about switching to self-employment. Flexible hours. No boss. Maybe less money, but freedom is worth it.
The employment market has changed.
Leadership teams need to finally treat people like humans and not chairs that work for them eight hours a day.
The #1 principle managers should follow is human leadership. Close the gap between leaders and teams. Put everyone on the same page. As a result, you get higher engagement and a culture of psychological safety.
What leadership skills will be useful this year?
It is a lot to take in, isn’t it? Where to start with leadership development? What do you need to successfully work with other people?
I believe the power of learning is in the community. I asked my LinkedIn friends what is THE leadership skill for 2023. They gravitated toward empathy and communication.
Thinking about upskilling, employee experience, or adopting new processes and ways of working. Thorough communication and empathy will be super beneficial this year.
EQ & Empathy
Empathy is the number one leadership skill. The challenge is that it can take a long time to master. The good news is questions are (I believe) the second most needed skill, and that can be learned in a day. Then practice, practice, practice. Which leads to empathy. - Scott Boddie
I think a leader needs organizational skills to motivate their team. I believe that begins with demonstrating EQ and empathy. - Linda Goodman
I think it's Emotional Intelligence, but that's a bit of a cheat because it encompasses a lot of skills! - Lisa Cunningham DeLauney
EMPATHY as it allows you to put yourself in the perspective of others. It enables you to see the needs of various people. Your team, your customers, your leaders, and your investors. This skill is worth doubling down on in 2023. - April Shprintz
I would say the number 1 skill is empathy. Leadership is about people, and the foundation for building trust and influence is people. - Danny Langloss
The #1 leadership skill to master in 2023 is the ability to lead with empathy. Like a captain navigating a ship through rough waters, a successful leader must be able to guide their team through challenges. This requires understanding and addressing the emotional needs of each team member. Empathetic leaders build trust, foster a positive work culture, and ultimately drive business success. - Mallet Easow
I feel like the connection is the foundation for all relationships. With connection, we can build empathy and influence. Especially in the disconnected world we live in. - Yael Walfish
I think for me a key skill would be confident in my own ability. - Carol Brennan
Communication & listening
I think whether a leader of a small group or CEO communication skills is paramount. If you can't communicate effectively you won't be able to adequately show your other abilities. - Tina Worthing
On the basis of my own experience, I’d go for listening. No other skill has been as transformative for me as a leader as learning to properly listen. Curious to hear what others will suggest! - Daniel Bodonyi
Leaders need to be listening and learning about what's going on around them. - Melissa Carson
Delegation & allocation
"Delegation and allocation" are two very important soft skills for a leader, i:e to know how to delegate responsibility and allocation of the right person in the right position. - Khan Mirjahan Jitu
In a nutshell:
When setting leadership goals for this year, consider the up-to-date trends that industry leaders predict for this year.
Focus on upskilling yourself and your coworkers. Embrace new tech and foster digitalization. If you are employed, take part in delivering an exceptional employee experience. If you are self-employed, do the same for your clients.
Lastly, if you want to be a better leader, practice empathy and open communication. Both are part of your leadership formula for 2023.
See you next week!
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