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Resolutions: Becoming a better Leader in 2023

Jill Bausch, CEO - Futures Group Europe

As we prepare for the beginning of 2023, it is important that we set goals for ourselves as leaders. We can improve our leadership skills and help our teams achieve even greater success by making some resolutions and sticking to them. This article will provide some ideas from experts on leadership resolutions you can make for the coming year. These objectives can help you elevate your leadership and have a positive impact on your team and organisation. Make a commitment to these resolutions and you will reap the rewards in the coming year.

Make meaningful communication resolution
For a successful 2023, leaders should look to make communication more meaningful. These days, communication is multi-faceted. Spread across email, messenger and calls, so often we fall into the trap of listening with the intent to respond, rather than the intent to understand. But leaders are at their best when they lead by example. Practise active listening, and take time to think before responding to others. Meaningful communication can also be used to combat groupthink (a phenomenon where a group of people prize overall harmony above real debate and collaborative thinking). When employees feel empowered to speak in an honest but respectful way, they’re more likely to be able to have difficult conversations and so come to the best conclusions. By showing employees first-hand how this is done, you’ll soon feel the positive ripple effects throughout the whole organisation.

Chris Griffiths is the founder of leading mind mapping app Ayoa, and the author of The Creative Thinking Handbook.

Be a revolutionary
My number one resolution for HR Directors is – be revolutionaries in 2023. Resist all attempts to go back to the safety and familiarity of the world before Covid. The opportunity remains to create a more flexible, more productive, more equal, healthier, hybrid world of work – centred on achieving results, irrespective of location and working hours. At the peak of the pandemic leaders vowed to use this as a catalyst to transform the way we work and the relationship between employer and employee.  Right now many bosses are wavering and pushing their teams back to the way we were. HR Directors need to show true, resolute and revolutionary leadership to press forward and make the complex change to a better world of work. We need our HR leaders to resolve to be game changers in 2023.

Atholl Duncan is the Chair of performance improvement business Black Isle Group and the author of the award winning business book Leaders in Lockdown – Book review

Set and role model a sustainable pace.
The last few years have been a whirlwind, and well-being is rightly high on everyone’s agenda.  Burnout is alarmingly high, and the demands, complexity and volatility of work aren’t going away.  So start this year by consciously setting an intention about your pace of work.  I call this a ‘sustainable work pace plan’.  Think about what ‘enough’ looks like for you and your teams.  Set healthy boundaries – for both workload and time – and keep them.  Plan in moments to pause and reflect.   Identify what re-charges your batteries and schedule time each week to ensure that you are replenishing your energy.  What you role model as an HR professional has a huge impact, so working at a healthy pace which is good for the long-term, is not only great for you, but for your teams and your organisations too.

Becky Hall is an accredited life coach, leadership consultant and is the author of The Art of Enough  

Be kinder – strength of character
The character and values of a leader define and enable them to enact their leadership. And we forget and rarely use them. Core human values are kindness and considerateness. They are rarely the norm in most organisations, even in the humanitarian sector. But most want and desire them as leaders, as staff, and as customers. Common decency and kindness.

Think about your character as a human being who is contributing, through leadership, to the company, colleagues, the world, and humanity. How much is kindness and decency central to you? And how well do you show these qualities in your daily leadership?

Strength of character means having and showing your values and considerateness in all aspects of leadership, beyond those expected by your terms of reference. Promise to reflect and build your own strength of character on kindness to yourself, others, and the world.

Anna Eliatamby is Director of Healthy Leadership, CIC and author of the new Decency Journey series of pocketbooks

Embrace the opportunities of technological change
Technological innovations are transforming industries across the world and driving significant changes to how we hire and train our workforce. Embracing these developments enables businesses of all sizes to benefit from increased efficiencies, lower costs, and the creation of exciting new roles. But those that fail to recognise the opportunities provided by technologies like AI, Web3, and the metaverse risk falling behind in the competitive digital age. That’s why managers and HR leaders must fully embrace technological change in 2023 to ensure that teams are appropriately skilled to deal with the challenges of the next wave of digital transformation.

Embracing technology also means developing our digital literacy, which is a key skill for the future of work. Not everyone needs to be a tech expert, but being confident using digital tools and developing the skills to work alongside these developments makes it far easier to keep on top of and prepare for the emerging trends and digital threats that could impact our workplaces and workforces.

Bernard Marr is a futurist, strategic advisor to many of the world’s best-known organisations, and award-winning author of new book, Future Skills: The 20 Skills and Competencies Everyone Needs to Succeed in a Digital World (Wiley, £18.99)

HR Director – Improve your ‘work from home’ space/habits
Hybrid and home working is steadily becoming the new norm, but many still have limited workspace, minimal office equipment and poor furniture. This is increasing back and neck pain, even in the younger age groups. The problem is that when people are in pain, they often find it difficult to concentrate and hard to sit still, inevitably becoming less productive and less motivated. It can even impact workplace relationships and lead to significant stress. To help, I often recommend taking a 20-second break every 20-minutes and looking away from the screen into the distance 20-feet (about 6 metres).  It’s called the 20-20-20 rule and it rests your mind, your spine and your eyes.  It’s a great way of minimising pressure on the lower back discs, helping you feel more focused and energised, and hopefully avoiding an episode of severe back pain.

Dr Adam Greenfield is a leading Chiropractor and co-founder of WorkLifeWell

Lead with empathy
The last few years have been challenging for all of us, and with many of our employees feeling the strain of inflation and a looming recession, emotional management, and specifically our ability to empathise and understand each other, will be one of the greatest challenges and greatest opportunities facing business leaders in 2023.

To drive progress and performance next year, HR professionals must be ready and willing to recognise the realities of your employees and actively work to support them to operate at their best. This requires a resolute commitment to lead with empathy and ‘see’ and ‘hear’ your employees outside of their output and position within the corporate environment. Curiosity will be the backbone for this successful shift. Ask questions and get to know your team on a person-to-person level to ensure their needs are being met and they can thrive as human beings first and foremost.

Mimi Nicklin is the CEO and Founder of inclusive creative agency Freedm, a leading empathy expert, and best-selling author of Softening The Edge. For more information go to

Take a look in the Mirror
As a leader, when was the last time you looked in the mirror and considered how you are seen by others? What it is really like to work with you, or be managed by you? Self-awareness in leaders has always been important but it will be key to success in 2023, as organisations build a new reality after a turbulent few years. Research by Gallup found an enormous 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager, so your impact on the motivation, wellbeing and productivity of your team is pivotal. As we begin a new year, start by reflecting on the leader you see in the mirror. Acknowledge and celebrate the personal behaviours you are proud of and be honest about the aspects you’d like to develop. Consider what is most important to you, personally and professionally, create a vision of the person you want to see in the mirror and build a plan for how to get there.

Rosie Nice is a workplace coach and author of The Magic Happens in the Silence: A guide to the art of reflective coaching

Move things over to a NOT-to-do-list
We’re all so pressured by our To-Do lists we often don’t properly consider priorities, and when our priorities are off kilter, we create an effective way to become overwhelmed or burnt out. Without relentlessly prioritising you might be lowering the quality of your output on both the work and on home fronts. Get out your To-Do list and move some items to a Not- To-Do list. Consider each item: Does it have to be done now or today or ever? Your time has a value. Is your time worth more than the time you’ll spend those items on the list that keep you in the weeds and most importantly, away from doing other things that give you contentment and a sense of real achievement?

Think: will this one task matter in a week, in a month, in a year? If the answer is no, zap it to your not-to-do-list in a nanosecond.

Jill Bausch is the former CEO is the author of Why Brave Women Win

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