HomeEmployee ExperienceDEI&BDiversity & InclusionTerence Mauri: Biggest leadership challenges for 2023

Terence Mauri: Biggest leadership challenges for 2023

  • 5 Min Read

The big story for leaders in 2023 is ‘Forever Beta’ which I define as leading and embracing perpetual transformation. I recently got invited to speak at the Nordic Business Forum about the future of leadership and how many leaders are currently stuck between the certainties of the past and the unknowns of the future. I believe […]

Featured Image

The big story for leaders in 2023 is ‘Forever Beta’ which I define as leading and embracing perpetual transformation. I recently got invited to speak at the Nordic Business Forum about the future of leadership and how many leaders are currently stuck between the certainties of the past and the unknowns of the future.

I believe that a change in perspective is worth at least 80 IQ points because your current perceptions are grounded in your past assumptions. Re-perception — the ability to see, hear or become aware of something new in existing information and notice the blind spots that we are blind to — is at the heart of leadership and is crucial for sustaining vitality for the long term.

One of the clearest signs of a high learning orientation is rethinking your assumptions and updating your opinions.  It’s about directionality (clarity of mind) and materiality (activation). Operating at the edge of uncertainty, context becomes key. Leaders should strengthen their context-setting, culture-setting, and pace-setting capabilities to ensure future readiness. This means:

  • Context over control;
  • Curiosity over conformity;
  • Resilience over fear;
  • Speed over certainty;
  • And simplicity over complexity

Forever Beta is defined as a way of leading and managing that inspires workers to challenge the status quo and reject taken-for-granted norms. It starts with the curiosity to learn and the courage to unlearn. Learning helps leaders evolve and unlearning helps as the world evolves.

Biggest leadership challenges for 2023

If there’s one challenge for leaders in 2023 it would be to remember that data isn’t the new oil. Attention is the new oil. Attention to culture and talent. Attention to sharpening the growth and value agenda. Attention to adopting new agile ways of leading. And attention to redesigning work that prioritises Belonging (Care and Connection), Becoming (Growth and Opportunity), and Believing (Radiate Purpose and Trust).

Research at Hack Future Lab shows that attention—and leadership attention in particular—has been blown up into millions of fragmented pixels and the accelerants have been technology and the changing nature of skills, talent and sustainable performance.

  • 93% of leaders believe that their leadership attention is key to growth but only 27% believe it’s a strength.
  • 68% of leaders report either themselves or their teams are at risk of overload and overwhelm.
  • 63% of leaders say the business decisions made today are more complex than they were 2-years ago.
  • 41% of leaders can link decision-making to enterprise value and strategy.
  • 28% of leaders responsible for executing strategy could only list three of their five company’s strategic priorities.

The #1 takeaway is that leaders are tired. Zoom fatigue. Meeting fatigue. Collaboration fatigue. Solution fatigue. Brain fog. With over 41 trillion dollars of enterprise value at risk and 93% of leaders expecting significant industry disruption over the next three years, leaders should ask which leadership mindsets and behaviours are emerging, enduring and eroding?

Tragedy of the horizon

I recently got invited to speak at a leadership conference about leading from the future alongside Mark Carney the former Governor of the Bank of England.  A key moment of truth was the “tragedy of the horizon” – a leadership blind spot that most leaders suffer from. It means a failure to lead from the future versus leading from the past. Leading from the future means curiosity over conformity, resilience over fear and agency over ‘fake empowerment’. When we lead in outdated ways, it’s a tax on human potential and future potential.

Which is worse? 1. We saw the trends on the horizon. or 2. We saw the trends on the horizon and didn’t act? Research at Hack Future Lab shows to lead from the future, leaders should bring the future to the present to take action today. That’s how to solve the tragedy of the horizon.

A useful starting point is to ask human-centric questions that amplify sense-making and choice-making. What are the boldest questions you will ask in 2023?

✅ Do we practise bold and focused leadership?
✅ Do we minimise or maximise freedom and responsibility?
✅ Do we commodify or humanise the work experience?
✅ Do we obsess over values, not just metrics?
✅ Do we enable wise choices, not just the fastest?
✅ Do we strengthen existing human brilliance?

Most organizations fall short when it comes to strategic alignment too. No one knows your strategy. Not even your top leaders. Hack Future Lab’s study of S&P 500 organizations revealed that only 28% of leaders responsible for executing strategy could list three out of five of their company’s strategic priorities.

Today’s challenges can’t be solved with yesterday’s logic. Leaders should focus on three priorities and have a ‘No’ strategy to separate the signal from the noise and make things happen.

  1. Who we are (Strengthen Identity)
  2. How we operate (Empower Agility)
  3. How we grow (Build Scalability)

Call to action for 2023

As leaders respond to sticky inflation, supply chain shocks, Green Swan events, recessions and the war in Ukraine, there is anxiety and fear but is enough being done to spark bold leadership that matters: value creation, human vitality and resilient growth for the long-term. I challenge leaders to BE the change in 2023 and explore two big questions.

1. How will we capitalize on the disruptive forces of the last few years and empower others to BE the change with bold intentionality?

2. Do we have the right mindsets, culture and behaviours to make this happen? If not, why not?


TTerence Maurierence Mauri has been described as ‘an influential and outspoken thinker on change and the future of leadership’ by Thinkers50.

He is the founder of a global management think tank, Hack Future Lab, an Entrepreneur Mentor at MIT and an Adjunct Professor at IE Business School where he speaks about how to lead and embrace change and unlock Bold Leadership DNA.

A new publication Building Resilient Organizations is co-written with the world’s leading business thinkers in partnership with Thinkers50 and Brightline Initiative.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe to get your daily business insights

Related Articles

Corporate language training: A catalyst for professional growth and business success

Effective communication strengthens the success of any organization in many facets of business – from people management to customer service, from...

  • Rosetta Stone
  • Jan 29, 2024

HR leaders: Don't forget to upskill yourselves

As the pace of technological innovation accelerates and globalization fosters greater workforce diversity, it is crucial for HR leaders to pursue...

  • HRD Connect
  • Jan 24, 2024

Age without limits: UK launches first anti-ageism campaign to combating workplace age discrimination

Age discrimination is an issue that continues to persist in our society, particularly in the workplace. Despite advancements in diversity and...

  • HRD Connect
  • Jan 22, 2024

UK's FCA investigation into sexism within financial services questions the efficacy of HR policies

Sexism within the financial services sector has been a long-standing issue, with recent reports highlighting the extent of the problem. The UK's...

  • HRD Connect
  • Jan 22, 2024

How to choose the right EdTech provider for your business?

EdTech has emerged as a game-changer for businesses looking to enhance their learning and development programs. However, choosing the right EdTech...

  • HRD Connect
  • Jan 18, 2024

Enhancing C-Suite relationships in 2024

As the business landscape evolves, the role of HR leaders is becoming increasingly strategic. Today, HR professionals are not just responsible for...

  • HRD Connect
  • Jan 5, 2024

On-the-job learning strategies for 2024

On-the-job training is a crucial aspect of employee development and can greatly contribute to the success of an organization. It allows employees to...

  • HRD Connect
  • Jan 5, 2024

Emotional intelligence and the success of L&D have more in common than you might think

In the dynamic world of human resources, the role of Learning & Development (L&D) has evolved significantly. Today, it's not just about...

  • HRD Connect
  • Jan 4, 2024


HRD Roundtable: Combating 'Quiet Quitting'…

08 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • May 12, 2023

HRD Network Roundtable: The Retention…

15 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • May 12, 2023

Manage change and drive value…

01 June 2023
  • E-Book
  • May 12, 2023
Sign up to our Newsletter