As we move forward and navigate the wreckage of the pandemic and the uncertainties of a rapidly changing world, new and unique challenges are brought to the attention of leaders. In this blog, we will be covering some of the hardest challenges leaders face in 2023, using the insights of professional leadership and development coaches of Epiphany Coaches.
1. Balancing Self-Care and People Amid Uncertainty
“Taking care of themselves and their people while maintaining an optimistic and resilient mindset given the ongoing uncertainty, ambiguity and pressure that leaders and businesses are facing. Navigating the current economic downturn and the post-COVID trauma that we have done our best to sweep under the rug.” – Gavin Shaskolsky
Post-COVID trauma still lingers, and leaders have to find new ways to support themselves and their teams through this fragile economic landscape.
2. Reestablishing Connection in a Hybrid World
“The biggest challenge leaders seem to be having in 2023 is getting their people back in the office and navigating a post-COVID world fraught with uncertainty, mistrust, disconnection and hybrid work environments. I’m hearing about how difficult it is to immerse staff in their culture, especially new staff after the Great Resignation, when there has been so little in-person interaction and experiences in the workplace building. While we as coaches know that productivity isn’t dependent on physical presence, we also know that for people at work, meaningful connections are easier to establish when you can look someone in the eye, feel their physical presence, capture the nuances of their communication, and have the impromptu conversations that are lacking when people are physically separated. Leaders are in a challenging position, as they attempt to make their teams more cohesive, despite physical barriers.” – Julie Dupont
With hybrid-work becoming the norm, it has grown more difficult for leaders to connect with their teams. Lacking the face-to-face presence that the office brings, leaders are coming up with new ways to create these relationships.
3. Rapid Adaptation and Learning
“The nature of business and organizational life in most industries has changed at an unprecedented pace in recent years. Old assumptions and norms are repeatedly replaced by new ones, sometimes overnight. This puts pressure on leaders to adapt to the new way of working faster than they have experienced in the past. They have to learn quickly and lead their teams to do the same in order to keep up and deliver on their commitments. Managing one’s own self through this process without losing energy can be tricky. Similarly, supporting team members through their own rapid development journeys without sacrificing their well-being is challenging.”- True Black
Adaptation – a challenge that leaders face regardless of the current economic and societal issues. Learning and growing with teams is what drives leaders to succeed, along with their people.
4. Stimulating Collective Wisdom Without Fear
“Stimulating collective wisdom, without feeling afraid of losing power, or appearing weak. Many leaders still believe that they need to be heroes and have all the answers, but I defend that the leader needs to have all the questions.” – Sarah Behmer
Acting like you have all the answers is hard and inauthentic. Admitting to errors and hearing new perspectives is hard, but promotes authenticity that builds connections up.
5. Letting Go of Over-Responsibility
“Over-responsibility for individuals and their team – with the pressures the pandemic laid on everyone’s plate and the desire of leaders to properly take care of their teams (be empathic, generous, kind, create actual and psychological safety)…some are displaying behaviors of thinking they need to be overly responsible for others. Being the hero, saving the day, having it all together themselves. It’s a large burden to bear. Displaying vulnerability and having honest conversations where they don’t have all the answers is powerful for those courageous enough to take the cape off!” – Heather Clarke
Leaders often feel pressure to be responsible for those they have influence over, ensuring they are taken care of and positive. The challenge here is to let go of that idea and instead be honest and vulnerable to let them make their own mistakes, learn and overcome.
6. Stepping Back and Calibrating
“The hardest challenge leaders face in 2023 is the multitude of complexity and constant change leading to inner and outer chaos, and lost of direction. Today in my coaching engagements it’s a lot about finding a calm place within to create from. Having a sense of purpose and longer term focus to stay motivated and give direction, and even hope to others.” – Evelyn Simon
Burnout is real, and it effects everyone in a company – from the bottom to the top. Leaders who are feeling overwhelmed with chaos need to take a step back from the stress, and find what works for them to re-calibrate and be their best.
The point to drive home is that leaders in 2023 are facing complex challenges that require them to adapt to rapid change, foster connections and collaborate with their people more than ever. By addressing these social and economical challenges head-on – embracing vulnerability and collective wisdom – leaders can build resilience and guide their organizations toward success.