Top 7 Leadership Trends for 2023

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For the latest leadership trends, check out 5 Top Leadership Trends and Topics for Discussion in 2024

For all the managers out there, here’s seven leadership trends to consider for 2023.

We work with thousands of managers each year and we’re very blessed to get to see the inside, behind the scenes working and activities of hundreds of learning and development departments the world over.

Leadership Development Training is always a hot topic. You want to provide your leaders with the management skills that they need today and at the same time, prepare them for the challenges of the future.

When it comes to the latest trends in leadership there’s no magic wand but there are certain topics that a lot of organisations are making a priority in their learning and development plans.

So, we’ve compiled a list of leadership trends of topics that we are seeing from other organisations in the Management Training that they and MTD will be providing throughout 2023.

For quick reference here are the 7 leadership trends for 2023

  1. Empathy
  2. Hybrid leadership
  3. Growth mindset
  4. Servant leadership
  5. Neurodiversity
  6. Unconscious bias
  7. Gen Z approach

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1. Empathy

Empathy is a superpower, but it surprises us how little empathy managers have.

If you want to be a top leader, then you will need to improve your empathy skills.

Empathy is all about others. It’s about identifying with your team and understanding their point of view. It shows that you care.

We’re not talking about paying lip service here. It’s truly caring for others and one of the most important skills with this is listening – both verbally and non-verbally.

Work is always busy. We can become too task focused and not people focused. We can sometimes forget that everyone has their own stresses and issues to cope with especially around wellbeing and mental health.

A modern-day leader can sense what their people are feeling and what they’re going through. They are then able to help them. Our Management Skills Training covers this topic.

2. Hybrid Leadership

Leaders have been pulled from pillar to post since COVID struck. First there was working from home. Just how could a manager lead their team when their people were all working from home?

And now we’re in a position where some work from home all the time. Others work in a hybrid, split model and others prefer to work from the office full-time.

Leaders must be able to deal with all types of working arrangements and at the same time be fair and manage performance effectively.

All Management Development Programmes need to cover hybrid leadership and learning and development departments need to provide resources to help with this because it is very challenging, especially if the manager themselves are working in a hybrid way.

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3. Growth Mindset

Created by Dr Carol Dweck, Growth Mindset is a process to help you overcome challenges and grow. It’s about believing in your own ability, your intelligence, and your talents.

We often hear of people who have a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. You’ll probably know some of these people!

People with a fixed mindset tend to:

  • Ignore feedback from other people
  • Throw in the towel too easily and give up
  • Avoid failure at all costs
  • Believe their talent is fixed and they can’t learn more
  • Hide their shortcomings to not look bad

Conversely people with a growth mindset tend to:

  • Embrace challenges as an experience to learn and grow
  • Believe that practice makes perfect
  • Welcome feedback at every opportunity
  • Believe that they can improve and get better
  • Keep trying and say they can’t do something “yet”

For a leader you can see why having a growth mindset is so important.

It’s important for yourself as well as your team members.

Who do you think will achieve more? A team with a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?

4. Servant Leadership

This leadership model has been around a long time so why have I included servant leadership within these seven trends?

When the Queen passed away a lot was made of her sense of duty and her example of servant leadership.

Her viewpoint was that she was there for others and not the other way round. As she said in her own words that being the Queen was about “Duty first, self second.”

And how well did she fulfil her aim? She was excellent at it.

Leaders can take a lot from this leadership style. It’s about being there for your team and that you are there for them.

5. Neurodiversity

Most leaders receive Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Training.

Very few receive development around neurodiversity which is all about how people see the world and how they interact with the world. It’s all about how they think, learn, and behave.

Note there is no right or wrong way here. It’s just how people are and as leaders we need appreciate this, embrace it, understand it, and provide support.

Some examples of neurodiversity include:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

If you’re not already, you need to be providing awareness around all of these and making sure you have a high level of understanding on each.

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6. Unconscious Bias

As leaders we all have had our own life experiences that have shaped and moulded our beliefs, values and opinions about other people and the world in general.

That doesn’t mean that they are right or reasonable.

Examples of unconscious bias can include:

  • Liking someone better because they have the same interests as you
  • Disliking someone because their opinion is different to yours
  • Liking someone better because they have had the same experience as you
  • Disliking someone because they are different to you

This stereotyping means that decisions are made based upon the world according to you. You may not even be aware of it and hence the term unconscious bias.

This normally flies in the face of equality and diversity and can land you in hot water if you’re a leader.

7. Gen Z Approach

Gen Z have been referred to by the BBC as “The workers who want it all.”

Quick recap – Gen Z are workers who were born between 1997 and 2012.

For previous generations, a clear career path with decent pay was enough. Not so for Gen Z.

Gen Z workers want all the above plus flexibility, value alignment, work-life balance, remote working, and flexible leave for a start.

By 2025 they will account for 27% of the workforce.

What does this mean for leaders?

Well, I could write an article on this topic alone but my advice to you is for you to get to understand Gen Z a lot better. Get to understand their motivations, their attitudes towards work and pay and their hunger for flexibility.

You’re going to managing a lot more of them in the future so you and your company will need to have a specific approach for getting the best from them.


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 1 November, 2022

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