Reader’s Choice: Your Favorite Leadership Advice

A Black woman holds a smartphone and smiles about the complimentary leadership affirmations calendar and leadership advice from the Center for Creative Leadership

As we wrap up 2022, we’re optimistic about the coming year.

Across the globe, we’re gradually emerging from the turbulence of the last 3 years and adjusting to a “new normal” — which can vary widely from one organization to the next. Whether you spend the next year in an office, at home, or in a hybrid arrangement, one thing is certain: leadership matters, now more than ever.

Our most popular content and resources from the past year reflect the topics that resonated most with you: managing hybrid teams with emotionally intelligent leadership; psychologically safe work cultures; the importance of welcoming diverse perspectives from across the organization; and learning to stay agile and change-ready for a continuously disrupted world. We believe these themes will continue to be important in the months to come.

Read on for a roundup of our best leadership advice from some of our most popular articles of the past 12 months. Or, download our complimentary calendar of leadership affirmations for 2023, inspired by our top leadership advice.

Access our complimentary, downloadable Leadership Affirmations calendar, inspired by our top leadership advice

Top Leadership Advice: Our Most Popular Content

1. Hone the “Fundamental 4.”

Even as your roles and responsibilities evolve, you must continue to develop in these 4 areas: self-awareness, communication, influence, and learning agility. As you grow in your career, keep a focus on these “fundamental 4” leadership skills, and you’ll be more prepared for new challenges.

Looking to strengthen the most important leadership skills? Read The Core Leadership Skills You Need in Every Role

2. Understand your own social identity and how it affects your leadership.

Social identity is a key part of how you see yourself as a person — and how you see the world. As humans, we unconsciously categorize ourselves and others into groups along social identity lines. Understanding this can help you become a more self-aware, effective, and equitable leader.

Help your team reach its full potential. Read Understand Social Identity to Lead in a Changing World.

3. Learn what it means to be an authentic ally.

In our work to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion within organizations and communities, leaders often ask us how they can serve as an ally and, more fundamentally, what it even means to be an ally. A strong foundation of knowledge and awareness will help you turn allyship from a buzzword into actual, sustainable behaviors that support others and create truly inclusive environments.

Ready to move beyond awareness and into action? Read What Is Allyship? Your Questions Answered.

4. Embrace flexibility in the workplace.

Whether organizations choose to continue to allow remote work options or transition to hybrid or in-person environments, flexibility continues to be a top priority. It doesn’t just benefit employees; organizations also benefit from increased productivity, better recruiting and retention of top talent, and improved engagement levels. 

Learn how to offer flexibility in your own organization. Read Why Today’s Organizations Need to Embrace Flexibility in the Workplace.

5. Set your hybrid teams up for success.

Leading a team is hard enough when everyone is in the same location — adding the shift to a hybrid work environment raises the challenge level as well as the stress. Communication, trust, and culture are now more important than ever.

Get 5 tips for leading hybrid teams. Read How to Approach Leading the New Hybrid Workforce

6. Boost psychological safety at work.

When people feel comfortable speaking up, asking questions, and disagreeing with the status quo, they also feel comfortable taking risks and exchanging innovative new ideas. A psychologically safe environment starts with a feeling of belonging, where people feel assured their perspectives are valuable.

Learn how to build a more psychologically safe workplace. Read What is Psychological Safety at Work?

7. Promote diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations.

For diversity initiatives to result in real change, leaders need new skills and organizations need tools to sidestep common mistakes. Our leadership advice: Implement our REAL™ framework (Reveal relevant opportunities, Elevate equity, Activate diversity, and Lead Inclusively) to move past acknowledging social inequities and into initiating lasting change.

It’s time to fully appreciate and engage all your talent. Read 5 Powerful Ways to Take REAL Action on DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion).

8. Focus on attracting, advancing, retaining, and developing women leaders.

If retaining and developing women leaders are priorities in your company, what actions are you taking to achieve sustainable results? HR policies and initiatives are just one piece of what’s needed to prepare and encourage women employees to take on leadership roles. They need more, and it starts with your culture. 

Start creating a culture that supports the women at your organization. Read Retaining & Developing Women Leaders: 5 Steps for Success.

9. Weave a fuller life by building intentional balance.

Achieving “balance” doesn’t mean devoting equal attention to all parts of your life at all times. Rather, it’s about understanding the importance of each facet and being intentional about how you prioritize your time and energy.

Learn how the 4 facets of your life — self, family, career, and community — influence and work with each other. Read How to Practice Holistic Leadership

10. Communicate effectively.

Communication is one of the most important skills a leader can have. Success requires the ability to speak, write, and express ideas with clarity, listen well, and share information with a variety of audiences. And you have to manage the rapid flows of information within the organization and among customers, partners, vendors, and other stakeholders and influencers.

Learn how to become a more effective communicator. Read 15 Tips for Effective Communication in Leadership.

11. Manage change & disruption by building trust.

In times of continuous change, it’s critical for leaders to build and maintain trust with their people. In fact, the behaviors that build trust are the very behaviors that manage change. Trust-building helps teams step into ambiguity, stay committed to managing the unknown with confidence, and embrace change as an opportunity to learn, grow, and do great work together. 

Find out why building leadership trust requires balancing paradoxes. Read Why Leadership Trust Is Critical in Times of Change and Disruption.

12. Lead with purpose.

The key to making your organization future-fluent? Purposeful leadership. Companies guided by purposeful leadership are characterized not only by their fulfillment of societal needs, but also by highly motivated and engaged employees.

Learn the 6 mindset shifts needed for leading with purpose. Read Beyond Doing Good: 6 Mindset Shifts for Purposeful Leadership.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

CCL Leadership Affirmations Calendar
We have one more piece of leadership advice for you.

As you and your organization move into the future, one thing remains certain — leadership makes all the difference.

If you’re ready to focus on leadership this year, download our complimentary, printable calendar of leadership affirmations, inspired by our top leadership advice shared above. We hope you enjoy it!

Or, explore our research-based, world-class leadership development programs, available for leaders at every level of the organization.


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December 19, 2022
Leading Effectively Staff
About the Author(s)
Leading Effectively Staff
This article was written by our Leading Effectively staff, who analyze our decades of pioneering, expert research and experiences in the field to share content that will help leaders at every level. Subscribe to our emails to get the latest research-based leadership articles and insights sent straight to your inbox.

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