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3 Leadership Trends To Continue Looking In 2023

Written by: Serena Martino, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

As a leader, you are probably having a busy time finishing all pending tasks, checking on goals, and planning next year's strategy. The transition to a new year is often associated with an urge of closing a door and open a new one: this is a great time to reflect on what we want to leave behind and what we want to carry on with us.

businessman holding a tablet with graph hologram.

The reality is that in life and business, there is no clear cut, some of the hot topics of discussion of the previous year, will still be relevant and develop more in the coming months.


Let’s look at some top Leadership trends that will carry on in 2023 that we need to watch out.


Flexibility remains at the center of discussion, but it needs to switch direction


It’s not surprising that remote work has been a trending topic since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, but in 2022 the big trend moved to hybrid work, with the focus switching to mandate days back to the office.


Hybrid companies have tried to figure out how many days staff should return to the office: 69% mandate a minimum number of days each week, while the rest leave the decision to employee discretion. For most businesses, this decision is totally arbitrary.


While this past year, the focus was on where people work in a Hybrid setting, the discussion needs to move on to what your company can do to operate successfully in a remote environment.


If you need to build a company that can scale globally, you have to ensure that your teams can do their work wherever they are, having the same optimal performance in two different continents as if you are all squeezed together in the same room.


To be able to achieve that, you need to have:

  • Clarity on goals: shifting from task-based or time-based to output-based performance.

  • Avoid information silos: goals, KPI metrics, and processes, need to be documented and accessible to everyone at every time.

  • Push asynchronous work: people can operate most of their tasks without having to wait to have an in-person/virtual discussion.

  • Ensure everyone knows where they can add value and put more trust in your team.

Remember: Remote is not a place, but a way of working. You can be a remote-first company and have employees coming to an office, or the other way around. You'll be set for success independently from where people are sitting.


Mental wellbeing is no longer a nice to have.


A recent study from Deloitte shows that 82% of leaders report exhaustion, with nearly all (96%) saying their mental health has declined. As such, more than half said they were thinking about leaving their roles.


When you think about the cost of the company of this trend, it is impossible to ignore it as it impacts 2 key metrics:

  1. Retention rate ‒ Excessive stress and burnout are often cited as reasons for people leaving; but also lack of motivation and failure to see how they can have an impact generate frustration, and can lead people to look elsewhere.

  2. Performance rate ‒ Better workforce experience delivers better results. When employees can operate in their optimal state without stress their ability to do work increases as well as their ability to collaborate successfully.

When things change quickly as in today’s market, being able to react promptly is the only way to move forward. You need lucidity and focus to be able to operate in this environment: take time to listen to what is happening around you, reflect, and be ready to make changes quickly.

Make sure that you bring well-being into your 2023 Leadership strategy.

  • Keep both ears listening. Be there to understand how your team is doing, and be ready to listen. Keep a close eye on high-achievers that are always ready to take more than they can handle. Your team mainly needs someone that is there for them when they need support.

  • Lead by example. You cannot advocate well-being if you do not make it a habit for yourself first. If your team sees you always working harder and harder, what does it say to them about what is needed to become a manager?

  • Remember that your role is not about you fixing everything. Your role is to inspire them and remove any blockers they have doing their job.

The future of work is right now


There is so much discussion about AI and how this will replace much of the work done by humans, and leaders especially. But for every manual boring task that we will no longer need to do, there are more strategic jobs to be taken on.


The future of work is not in the next decade: so many changes are happening at such high speed that we have to be constantly aware that what we are doing now might change next year, next month, or next week.

Waiting too long to make a decision or pivot can be detrimental and set you up for failure.


Your role as a leader is to ensure you harness your teams to navigate constant change and ever-increasing complexity.

  • Make space for the unexpected. Have a clear direction, but understand that plans can change. Think about long-term vision and quick action that can make an immediate impact.

  • Know your Numbers. You cannot control big economic factors, but you need to keep a close eye on your metrics and see what you need to do to adjust the course.

  • Get your People ready. When things need to change quickly, you need everyone to be aligned and know how to act. Set a clear direction, give the right tools, and trust they’ll lead the way.

  • Have clear (unperfect) Processes. You need to have easy systems in place so that everyone knows how to operate without always consulting you, but they need to be lean enough to be implemented quickly and changed if needed.

In Summary


You do not have to fully reset in 2023. Check what you did well last year, what you might have missed, and keep improving over the next months.


For hybrid/remote work, just shift your mentality from where to how to ensure you can operate successfully.

Consider well-being as a great tool to improve performance and results for you and your teams.


And finally, look at AI, and the future of work as an opportunity to bring more ‘human’ work into your day; the keywords here are adaptability and agility.


If you need a partner to help you future-proof your business you are welcome to reach out to me via LinkedIn or my website.


 

Serena Martino, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Serena Martino is an Executive and Business Coach (ACC with ICF) with abundant Leadership experience both in Corporate and Startup environments, with a focus on Tech, eCommerce, and Travel. Having worked in 6 different countries and with teams around the World, she understands cultural diversity and the complex dynamics of scaling internationally. She works with leaders at all levels: her approach is allowing to find the best solution through self-reflection, combined with practical tools from her direct experience in the field. She coaches people through their businesses, empowering teams and individuals to grow with a clear direction. Her mission is to put people at the center of every company.

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