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5 Leadership Trends to Watch in 2023

2022 brought an abundance of changes to the workplace, especially once our daily professional rhythms returned to a “new normal” after lockdowns and COVID-19 regulations. A global pandemic wasn’t the only thing that caused shifts in leadership, though, as flexibility became the name of the game. And while there is no doubt that 2023 will see much of the same in terms of remaining flexible with in-office or remote work, the business landscape will look different for more reasons than one.

If you’re a professional leader or business owner, here are a few key themes to look out for in 2023—and some thoughts on how you can work with those leadership trends to set your workplace up for success.

Finding Purpose

There might very well be many external-facing changes you need to make in 2023, but let’s start with one that deals primarily with the internal changes that need to be addressed: fostering a sense of purpose.

We all know that creating a supportive workplace environment is key when maintaining positivity among your team, but in 2023, business leaders will take that a step further by explicitly talking about their purpose and the meaning of their work. This can create a pretty powerful domino effect for other members of the team.

Employees want more out of their job than just a paycheck, and business leaders everywhere will start giving them roles and assignments that go beyond their email signatures. You can start by talking to your team members, finding out what their passions are, and looking for ways to incorporate them into their goals, positions, and daily tasks. Finding purpose first as a leader, and then together with your team, will inspire impact that will go much further than you might expect.

Embracing Change

The workplace looks much different than it did in 2021, 2020, or even the beginning of 2022 for that matter. And it’s only going to change further. 2023 is poised to see an onslaught of social, economic, and cultural changes that are sure to affect employees—whether leaders see those effects or not.

Forward-looking business leaders will start thinking of ways to navigate the continuing changes to the workplace. For example, creating a corporate structure that embraces inevitable ebbs and flows can go a long way toward establishing a culture of adaptability.

Employees Come First

Whether you want to admit it or not, we are living in a time where employees are the ones calling the shots. Gone are the days of corporate pressure led by executives who intimidate potential hires and get away with it because those individuals need a paycheck. Today, employees have more power than ever before.

Instead of fighting against this reality, savvy business leaders will accept the new dichotomy and find creative ways to capitalize on employees’ renewed sense of power. Set your team or company up to welcome fresh perspectives by ensuring your employees are well cared for. Emphasize the importance of work/life balance, proper pay, essential benefits, and help them develop the skills they need to be brilliant within their roles.

We are sitting on a precipice: a generation of young talent is poised to enter the workplace en masse, and they have high expectations of the companies they work for. Investments you make in your employees today will pay dividends down the road.

Technology Matters

As new advancements in technology weave their way deeper into the professional mainstream, it can be pretty fun to be a business leader: seeing so many new frontiers be discovered can be incredibly inspiring, and experts expect that 2023 will see even more breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and automation.

Technological innovation will surely have some serious effects on every industry, and business leaders should keep their eyes peeled for developments related to their field, but the best leaders will also embrace technology in the workplace.

New time management platforms, for example, are popping up every minute, and while they might seem cumbersome to use at first, they can make waves when it comes to a department or company running smoothly. In 2023, leaders will collaborate with their teams to find the technology that works best for everyone.

Flexibility Above All

Though flexibility is the “golden word” all year, every year, it will be more relevant than ever in 2023. Business leaders will need to prepare for the continued trend in quiet quitting, for example, as well as the continued ramifications of a global pandemic.

Be prepared to adapt, and work tirelessly to keep your team’s insecurities and stresses at bay. They will need it.

When In Doubt, Break Down Barriers

At the end of the day, leadership trends don’t shift dramatically from year to year. We only see true changes over the course of decades.

In this second decade of the new millennium, leaders are largely being tested on their ability to create safe and inspiring work environments. This is an age in which flexibility and meaningful relationships between colleagues are key. Breaking the barrier between “me” and “them” is vitally important, especially when big things are to come in 2023.

The original version of this publication appeared in Hispanic Executive

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