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 2023, we’re optimistic about the coming year. 

Across the globe, we’re gradually emerging from the turbulence of the past 4 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; creating psychologically safe work cultures; 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. 

Best Leadership Advice: Our Most Popular Content

Our Top Advice for 2024 & Beyond

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. 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?

6. 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. HR policies and initiatives are just one piece of what’s needed to attract, retain, and advance employees from underrepresented groups. They need more, and it starts with your culture.

It’s time to fully appreciate and engage all your talent. Read Inclusive Leadership: Steps to Take to Get It Right and Retaining & Developing Women Leaders: 5 Steps for Success.

7. Lead employees with a focus on wellbeing.

Workers today desire fulfilling careers where they do meaningful work on a team where everyone is encouraged to thrive — whether they’re remote, in-person, or hybrid. Managers should focus on taking care of themselves and building a sense of community, connection, and belonging to help their employees achieve greater wellbeing.

Learn more about how leading with wellbeing influences engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity — read Create (Better) Culture: The Keys to Wellbeing and Leadership.

8. Communicate effectively, starting with listening to understand.

Listening is a key part of being an effective communicator. And active listening is more than just hearing someone speak. It requires leaders to pay attention to the facts, feelings, and values that may be hidden behind the words being shared. At the organizational level, when everyone has developed strong listening skills, this fosters a workplace culture of truth-telling and candor.

Learn how to become a more active listener. Read What Is Active Listening?

11. Manage change & disruption with change leadership.

Change is inevitable. Whether it occurs on a smaller scale or at an organizational level, navigating change successfully is one of the biggest hurdles that organizations may face. For managers to effectively lead through the process of change, it’s critical for them to be aware of the people side of the change equation, as well as the rationale for the change itself.

Learn more about effective change leadership. Read How to Be a Successful Change Leader.

10. Lead with purpose.

The key to managing a team effectively? Purposeful leadership. Companies guided by purposeful leadership have managers who intentionally promote a sense of purpose on their teams, enabling direct reports find meaning in their work and connect their personal values to larger ones. As a result, the organization has more highly motivated and engaged employees.

Learn the 6 things that drive a sense of purpose. Read Purpose in Leadership: Why & How.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

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.

Explore our research-based, world-class leadership development programs, available for leaders at every level of the organization, to bring out the best in yourself and your team. 

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December 7, 2023
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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