What Are Your Leadership Priorities For 2023?

Last week, we explored the leadership ABCs and three key roles that leaders must get comfortable playing - architect, bridger, and catalyst. The days of do as I say, not as I do are long gone and leaders who emulate this old-school thinking and behavior experience limited success and longevity in their roles.   

We explored how the role of leaders is no longer about getting others to follow them into the future; instead, it is about bringing diverse teams together to collaborate and co-create the future together. 

With that in mind, what are your leadership priorities going to be for the new year ahead as we are in the midst of preparing budgets and planning ahead for 2023?

Here are a few of our predictions based on what we are hearing from the clients we engage with, in combination the latest research and insights.  

Less Hierarchy = More Engagement

The role of the leader will be less about making decisions and calling the shots, and more about having the skills to foster inclusive decision making, offering autonomy and bottom-up innovation and collaboration. Old organizational structures that called for top-down decision-making and strategizing will be met with potential resistance and push back, as employees will demand collaboration and involvement as described in our last blog.  

Flatter organizational structures will result with less middle management, creating environments of teamwork and collaboration at all levels and across organizations. Old style leadership habits will be replaced with partnerships based on collaboration, active listening, and encouraging employees to take on greater responsibilities and opportunities.  

Focus on Soft Skills

High performing organizations hire top talent and also invest in both hard and soft skills required to deliver exceptional performance in today’s new world of work. You can be the smartest person at the table but be the least emotionally intelligent which will only get you so far in today's world. If future success is delivered through collaboration and co-creating by bringing diverse teams together, then the ability to connect at the human level and foster meaningful relationships will be a key focus no matter what your role is within an organization.

Hiring for self-aware, emotionally astute, team players will be a common theme as companies bring on new talent and promote existing talent within their respective organizations. Developing followership, having influence and the ability to collaborate well cross-functionally will be a priority for everyone as the world continues to shift and evolve. Developing and nurturing soft skills are and will continue to be a priority for organizations in years to come.

Hybrid and Remote Work Model Maturity

The pandemic and the newness in pivoting to remote and hybrid work models is still very much in the infancy stages of deployment for some companies, and this will continue to be a priority in the year ahead. Presently, some organizations are still settling into their new work environments and with that, leaders are learning how to create engagement and collaborate in this new environment.

The old work models of 9 to 5 working hours are gone, and offering flexible work models are in demand. That is one major benefit stemming from the pandemic. We proved that work from home was possible, and now employees expect the flexibility to choose what will serve them best. Organizations that are willing to offer this flexibility, in combination with valuing work life balance, will reap the benefits in terms of engagement, productivity and bottom-line results. 

Valuing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

DEI has and will continue to be a top priority as we move forward into years to come, as we have made little progress in this area.  

A lot of organizations have developed policies and practices that are designed to ensure that they are valuing and building a diverse workforce made up of differences in race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic backgrounds. They also do their best to ensure that they are being equitable by designing processes and programs that are impartial, fair and provide equal opportunity for every individual. Being inclusive is the practice of making people feel heard and seen, reinforcing a sense of belonging at work, in combination with valuing the differences in thinking and approaches.

You can have the best written policies and procedures but if your leaders do not value DEI, then you will experience limited progress as it relates to creating this type of culture within your organization.  

More effective training, ongoing discussions, and engagement on all levels on what DEI is and how we as human beings, can truly emulate, practise, and promote diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace cultures will continue to be a priority for most organizations. 

What are your 2023 priorities?

These are just a few key areas of focus that will be a top priority for many organizations in the new year ahead. What are your leadership priorities for the coming year? What are you willing to start doing, stop doing and continue doing because it adds value to those around you? It’s time to take pause and be thoughtful and purposeful about what you will focus on that will contribute to collective success for your team and organization.

Leaders of today and tomorrow are required to influence differently than they have ever before, and it goes way beyond being an expert in your respective area. In next week's blog, we will take a deeper dive into the human-to-human aspect of leadership by offering your people what they need in order to deliver their best performance, which equates to being a more human-centric leader.

We want to hear your feedback and insights on this topic, so please email me at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca or call me at 1.855.871.3374.

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