A Leadership Action Plan
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Recommendations on what it will take to be a great leader in 2023.
For leaders and organizations to thrive in today’s complex and changing workplace, the need for leadership development is crucial. A core element of understanding the future of leadership development is research and data analytics, which is what we focus on at Pivotal Growth. Based on our findings, here’s what leaders need to know to succeed in 2023 and beyond.
Events Driving Change
First, let’s take a look at what’s driving the changes for leaders. It should come as no surprise that global leaders are concerned about the economy and a pending recession. In fact, our data shows that they have become less optimistic about their business prospects than just one year earlier. That’s because leaders are finding that managing their business is incredibly challenging when addressing the post-pandemic work conditions and arrangements. Further, soft skills are no longer optional when managing individuals and teams. Lastly, leaders are accelerating investment in leadership development, data-backed decision-making and leadership consulting services.
What does the future hold for leaders?
Recently, Pivotal Growth conducted two research projects identifying the future of leadership. Our data unveiled the top three topics you need to be focused on.
Leadership is evolving and the skills needed to execute are changing
Soft skills are dominant in leadership and, as a result, are no longer ‘soft,’ but rather imperative skills
The best results happen when leaders incorporate their own inner work as part of the change and results plan
Let’s take a deeper look at each, so you can better understand how these trends impact your leadership and business.
1. Leadership is Evolving
Our global leadership data and research is intended to help reduce uncertainty, and can be used to inform your decision-making processes and resource investments. It showed there are four key areas to focus strategy, planning and execution on as leadership continues to evolve.
1. There are new demands for leadership. Here are some steps you can take to succeed (HBR, 2022):
Executives need to motivate diverse, technologically savvy, and global workforces
Executives need to play the role of corporate statesperson, dealing effectively with a wide array of constituents
Executives should be able to apply their skills in a new company, an unfamiliar industry, and with unfamiliar colleagues
Executives must work in a “future-ready workforce”. Build enduring capabilities such as imagination, social intelligence, empathy, curiosity, resilience, sense-making, critical thinking, adaptive thinking, teaming, creativity, and emotional intelligence
2. There is prioritized change for CEOs, too (Deloitte 2022). They must:
Embrace discomfort and adopt decision-making tools to address complex problems
Adopt a of mindset of “progress over perfection” and let go of perfectionism
Resist quick conclusions and oversimplification
Leverage a network, and not go it alone
Go to a higher vantage point to view situations
Use 1:1 efforts to develop and retain top talent
3. The leadership competency gap needs to be prioritized over technical skills
The drastic changes in the last few years has exposed a serious concern over the gap in leadership competencies. In a recent report, 75% of respondents rate the gap as very important to important. This makes leadership competencies the top priority over personal competencies and technical skills (McLean & Company, 2022).
4. Leaders must invest in a learning and development program refresh
Learning and development will help organizations keep up with the changing demands in the business environment. New development offerings are needed. This requires strategic initiatives to enable continuous learning. It’s time to refresh your leadership development programs. (McLean & Company, 2022)
2. Excelling with Soft Skills
There is an importance being placed on leaders having soft skills. In fact, it’s now part of the definition of leadership. Below is Pivotal Growth’s point of view on four soft skills that leaders must master. We’ll be evolving our diagnostics to measure them.
Resilience: Sustain the mental strength and optimism to learn from mistakes, focus, decisively make decisions, remain composed and maintain a relentless pursuit of success.