… I always say, “Don’t be perfect, be courageous”. Many times we get stuck in this limiting belief that we can’t make a mistake or that we will wait to take action until the time is right. This mentality keeps so many of us from going after the things that we want in our lives and careers. Instead, I say to be courageous and be willing to fail, be willing to not have everything figured out, and be willing to just try.
When it comes to designing the future of work, one size fits none. Discovering success isn’t about a hybrid model or offering remote work options. Individuals and organizations are looking for more freedom. The freedom to choose the work model that makes the most sense. The freedom to choose their own values. And the freedom to pursue what matters most. We reached out to successful leaders and thought leaders across all industries to glean their insights and predictions about how to create a future that works.
As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Patricia Arboleda.
Patricia Arboleda is a highly successful certified Executive & Leadership Coach and the Founder of Arboleda Coaching, a company that empowers driven women and LatinX to accelerate their success, take their careers to the next level, and break through barriers to build the futures that they want and deserve.
As a Latina woman who has climbed the corporate ladder, serving as a Senior Executive for a Fortune 500 company, Patricia has an insider’s understanding of what obstacles stand in the way for most female leaders. It is through her innovative individual and group coaching programs that Patricia generates significant transformations and equips the women she coaches with the skills they need to develop a winning mindset, expand their leadership skills, create more impact, and set themselves apart with real, lasting results.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10–15 years from now? What do you predict will be different?
I see a radical shift happening — in four ways :
- People will look for roles/companies that align with their life’s mission/vision/purpose.
- Employees will gravitate to companies that invest in their growth, not just as a worker, but as a human being.
- Our emerging leaders will want to be nurtured, not managed. They’re looking for growth opportunities, that are not one-off arrangements, but that are continually built into their everyday work. That puts a lot of pressure on today’s leaders, as they need to develop coaching skills to show themselves powerfully for their teams.
- The pandemic has helped us all see the importance of our making and spending time with those we care about. In the future, I see this being at the forefront of a lot of employee/company conversations —How can we empower our employees to have meaningful careers that don’t take away from their personal lives?
What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?
Those companies that will be successful in the future will be those that place an emphasis on nurturing the whole person. These companies will invest in mental health wellness, provide mentorship and coaching opportunities, place employees in roles that speak to their strengths, and incorporate leadership training and coaching as part of their professional development plans. Not to mention, companies that recruit, hire, train, and mentor diverse leaders — at all levels — will undoubtedly be positioned
We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?
So many workers had the chance to work from home and experience life without having to commute every day. For many of these workers, it’s created a great desire for them to continue working from home and being able to control how they work best. I think this opens up a larger conversation about the state of work and what (in this current model) is working and what’s not.
This is where having open dialogue with your employees and creating open forums for everyone’s voice and opinions to be heard becomes so relevant. Because we’ve all seen how quickly things can change and the need to remain agile and adaptable — I see employees wanting a larger investment in professional development and coaching to help them build a portfolio of skills and abilities that can help them achieve job security.
Companies should explore opportunities to partner with Executive Coaches to not just train their staff, but to help them upskill in the areas of mindset. When companies can empower their people to have the right mindset, then they’ll be positioned to thrive — no matter what happens next in the world.
We’ve all read the headlines about how the pandemic reshaped the workforce. What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?
The word that comes to mind is flexibility. If we are shifting to a space where we are working from home, more than we are working in an office, then we have to be sensitive to each other’s situations. Not all employees have a dedicated office at home, many employees may have to juggle being the provider and the caregiver for not just children but for their elderly parents. As a society, we will need to be more understanding of what is realistic to demand of people. Is it realistic to think that someone should work 60+ hours a week because they’re a Senior leader? That’s why I think the conversation has to shift more to how we create better boundaries to help employees meet their role requirements and still have time and space for their families.
What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?
Creating diverse mentorship and coaching programs I believe will be key. Not only does it help to build connections between people in the organization (which is SO important), it also lets aspiring leaders see and learn what it takes to lead at higher levels. However, the key with this is that these programs must showcase diversity. As we know representation is critical, so creating opportunities for women and minorities especially to get coaching and mentoring from leaders that “look like them” will be so powerful in the future.
Let me emphasize the importance of having a role model as a coach or mentor. What I have found is that the women that work with me, find a connection because they see that I am coaching from my own experience as a Latina who moved up the ranks in corporate America.
Having women in senior leadership roles, sets an example for the women behind them who are looking to rise. When they understand that it can be done, they get stronger and start building their path to success with intentionality.
Another important thing is to focus on developing the leader as a coach. That’s why I have developed a unique Leadership Coaching with Horses program that allows leaders to connect with nature and truly tap into a new level of self-awareness that can be life changing. It is an accelerator to create real transformation and develop soft skills like empathy, communication, collaboration, and innovation, which are some of the soft skills that leaders should have.
It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’. ‘The Great Reconfiguration’. And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’. What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines? How do company cultures need to evolve?
The biggest message is that investing in the person, not just the position is key. People are leaving their jobs in record numbers because they don’t feel valued, listened to, supported, etc. For companies, they need to make the transition to nurturing their employees’ strengths and they also must be willing to invest in their personal and professional growth.
Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Employees want Mentors not Managers
- Mindset Becoming the New Leadership Skill
- The Importance of Companies Respecting Work Life Balance
- The Need for Leaders to Develop Soft Skills to Inspire Their Teams
- The Desire for Employees to Be in Roles That Enhance Their Strengths
I keep quotes on my desk and on scraps of paper to stay inspired. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And how has this quote shaped your perspective?
I always say, “Don’t be perfect, be courageous”. Many times we get stuck in this limiting belief that we can’t make a mistake or that we will wait to take action until the time is right. This mentality keeps so many of us from going after the things that we want in our lives and careers. Instead, I say to be courageous and be willing to fail, be willing to not have everything figured out, and be willing to just try.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might just see this if we tag them.
Having a private lunch with Oprah Winfrey would be a dream come true. I truly admire her strength, her ability to inspire others through her story, her courage to go after what she wants, and her authentic vulnerability. When I think of the consummate leader, who understands how to lead and how to nurture those around them, Oprah is at the top of that list for me!
Thanks for reading! We’d love to hear your feedback and future topics you’d like us to address. To find out more about the work we do at Arboleda Coaching, don’t hesitate to check other places on our website or Book a Call!
The original version of this interview appeared in Authority Magazine