4 Leadership Skills That Will Turbocharge Your Career in 2023
Career

4 Leadership Skills That Will Turbocharge Your Career in 2023

Yellow Bricks Search dives into the latest and largest global study on leadership skills to show you what you’ve got to grow, where to start, and why it’s all important in 2023. Whether you’re looking to boost your career by getting that next promotion or a new role outside your company, one way to go […]

March 22nd, 2023
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Abby.

Founder

A search expert making key hires for over twenty years.

Yellow Bricks Search dives into the latest and largest global study on leadership skills to show you what you’ve got to grow, where to start, and why it’s all important in 2023.

Whether you’re looking to boost your career by getting that next promotion or a new role outside your company, one way to go about it is by finetuning your leadership skills.

That’s because, for any mid-level or senior staff member, leadership skills are by far and away the most important capabilities to possess.

In fact, so important is this set of skills that 2022 LinkedIn research found for a large number of high-performance organisations, those in charge of development thought that leadership skills were the most important skills to grow.

So much so, companies are willing to spend an eye-watering £22 billion a year globally to get good leaders.

 

Knowing what skills to grow in 2023

It’s all well and good knowing that leadership skills are important, but going on to effectively develop them is a whole different matter.

Where does one start?!

Luckily, every year consultancy giant Deloitte puts out findings from their massive global survey of business and HR leaders on what trends in business, skills, and professional life will dominate the coming year, and this year, includes an entire chapter on leadership.

Of course, being a global year-long study from one of the leading business research companies in the world, the study is very long.

That’s why we decided to read it at Yellow Bricks Search and digest the key learnings and sharing examples of the skillset in action.

 

Below are the top four leadership skills you need to grow in 2023:

 

1) Become a researcher 

Deloitte’s study found that less than a quarter of organisations have the leaders they need for the disruption that will define the future of work.

Of course, this will worry businesses, but that’s an opportunity for ambitious individuals to show they can step up and become the leaders tomorrow’s world of work sorely needs.

One place to do this will be to become, as Deloitte describe, a researcher.

 

Whilst this won’t mean donning a lab coat and hiding away from your teams to pour over business journal texts and endless spreadsheets, it will mean the following:

  • Becoming less interested in one solution and more interested in creating an environment where multiple individuals feel they can put their views forward.
  • Creating learning environments where you, and your team(s), adapt and quickly absorb new information, leveraging it for great outcomes.
  • Being less attached to specific activities and more interested in the overall outcome.
  • Growing interest in experimenting, failing, and learning.
  • Getting better at data to inform decisions.

 

Why this is all important is because to be an effective leader in a world where everything can be turned on its head and have traditional boundaries broken down, individuals who have leadership responsibility will understand their environment, have built it to withstand shock, and be interested in experimenting — using their constantly growing knowledge — to make it all work.

As JoAnn Stonier, Chief Data Officer at Mastercard says about leaders: “It means they have to understand their business — not only where it is today, but where it’s going.”

 

2) Understand the importance of co-creation

Another clear dearth in leadership ability — and, as a result, opportunity — is the lack of individuals who are ready to co-create solutions.

Over a third of businesses say they simply don’t have individuals who can lead together.

What this means in practice is that leaders who can swallow their pride and ego, actively work to reduce hierarchy in an organisation, and take on the opinions and expertise of others to jointly create solutions are who deliver the best outcomes for the business.

 

Key areas of focus for growing this trait include:

  • Reducing hierarchy.
  • Investing in building relationships.
  • Working to improve your influence across the organisation.
  • Understanding your team(s) and workforce around you and what they bring.
  • Learning more about how influence is less about authority and more about giving others agency, ownership, and information access.

 

A clear example of this in action is when Salesforce, one of the world’s best places to work and a globally recognised software company, had co-CEOs in place for a year understanding that this could help promote the goals the company needed to achieve.

As Marc Benioff, current CEO at Salesforce after his co-pilot left to found another company, said of the two CEO model: “Together, [my co-CEO] and I will lead Salesforce through our next chapter while living our shared values of trust, customer success, innovation and equality for all.”

 

3) Centre your people 

Since the pandemic, people have been at the core of all business thinking.

Whether it was their safety during Covid, their need for purpose and self-actualisation during the Great Resignation, or, increasingly, growing calls for better pay and conditions.

Deloitte says a key factor that will underpin success will be businesses finding individuals who can create ways of balancing the needs of the business with the needs of the people. Again, for the ambitious, it’s a clear place to focus on.

 

Here’s what Deloitte say will need to be centre-stage in this skillset:

  • Genuinely caring for the people you lead.
  • Understanding the impact of their decisions on their people.
  • Moving past empathy to show practical care provision and creation of good wellbeing practices.
  • Learning more about how actions impact those who exist outside your business as well as inside.
  • Knowing that any decision — even ones taken to reduce conflict, such as not sharing politics or viewpoints on a news story — has an impact on others.

 

As ex-New Zealand Prime Minister and current MP Jacinda Arden said: “Leadership is not necessarily about being the loudest in the room but instead being the bridge or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.”

Clearly, someone who understands people is a great model for those that want to grow this skillset.

 

4) Use technology to augment your powers 

With so much digital transformation taking place over the last few years, not many are arguing that the coming period of time won’t be defined by digital disruption — from AI and ChatGPT technologies to blockchain and beyond.

However, according to Deloitte’s workings, only 16% of leaders are primed to use technology to drive successful outcomes for people and businesses. Once again, it’s an opportunity for those who want to learn the skills to get ahead.

 

Here, the focus areas should be:

  • Getting to grips with big data and analytics and knowing it’s a skill set your teams need.
  • Understanding how technology can improve equity and inclusivity by reducing hierarchy and speeding up decision-making.
  • Learning more about what technologies can boost human productivity and knowing where human intervention is still needed.
  • Seeing technology as a potential rather than a threat — and becoming more open to adaptability, risk-taking, and digital strategising.
  • Becoming more literate in upcoming digital evolutions — you don’t have to become an expert but understanding use and potential application is key.

 

As a celebrated digital researcher at the world-famous business school MIT Sloan, Jeanne Ross argues that being open to being changed by technology will also be key.

She said: “Clearly, the thing that’s transforming is not the technology — it’s the technology that is transforming you.”

Understanding this, adapting, and then being open to the new paradigms that digital will create, will be key for those that want to lead successfully.

 


 

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Yellow Bricks is a female-owned and led executive search firm hiring predominately for software companies with diversity and inclusion at the heart of our offering. To learn more, click here.
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