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  • Writer's pictureLeeanne Carson-Hughes

The Savvy Leader #8 - Eight Leadership Lessons from 2023

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

We made it to the end of the year!


Firstly, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for engaging in my content and thought leadership this year. We have close to 1100 subscribers to this newsletter and over 2100 followers on LinkedIn now, so I am pretty damn chuffed about that.


2023 has been one heck of a fast-paced year huh.


One that has challenged many leaders with the intensity, opportunity and complexity like no other.


2023 did not offer the “excuses” of covid, pandemics, hybrid working and lock downs.


It was a year where leaders had to stand on their own performance, or not, as many found out. Some left roles, some got roles and thankfully, many land in December hugely proud of their achievements and excited for 2024.


I have had the pleasure of coaching over 50 leaders 1:1 this year. Here are the most impactful and important lessons that were uncovered and discussed during 2023.




1. What got you here will not get you to the next level.

Being an executive or senior leader is not the same role as the level below that you previously held.


You need to develop some new competencies like strategic thinking, enterprise leadership and social issues management. Master these and your career will fly, as will your impact, and likely your remuneration if that is important.


Check out what seven CEOs told me they look for in their Executives so you know what you need to add to your 2024 development plan:


2. Learning to manage your Imposter Syndrome

Many of us have that little (or big) voice in our head that says – really, you think you can do this, who do you think you are to be in this role or going for that bigger role.


Working on understanding and managing your inner imposter is a key to a successful career.


This Guide was super popular in 2023. Check it out if you want to learn more about taming your inner imposter.


3. The lack of alignment at senior leadership is felt throughout the organisation.

When the Exec team is not aligned or performing well it can feel like working with a bad wifi signal throughout the organisation. Sadly, it is an all too common experience.


I did a poll a few months ago and 81% of respondents said organisational performance would improve with a cohesive leadership team.


Please exec teams – put your team development and performance at the top of your list for 2024. Your people will thank you.


4. BS is rampant

Green washing, values washing, wellbeing washing. STOP IT.


Either do it and mean it or stop pretending like you have values that matter or you care about the environment or wellbeing. Your people can see straight through it.



5. You need to learn about technology, seriously, really, I mean it

Many organisations are missing a key competitive advantage by leaving it to a tech expert 3 levels down the organisation.


And tech leaders – 2024 should be your year to get better at being Top Table ready.


6. Race Pace Grace

The way you lead your people and the pace you set will likely have the biggest impact on outcomes.


Race, Pace and Grace has been a valuable way for many coaching clients to think about how they lead. What is the race you are in – a sprint or a marathon? Do not set a pace that is inappropriate for the race.




7. Senior leader recruitment is sophisticated and you need to up your game

Many people applying for roles this year experienced just how much the recruitment game has changed in 2023. The old tactic of apply and pray is not a strategy that will generally work for you anymore.


You will need social proof of what you do and who you know, a well constructed and active LinkedIn profile, great connections and a whole of attention and evidence of your expertise and experience.


Otherwise you will not be on the recruiters radar and search lists and will not have the level of proof needed to support your application.



8. If in doubt choose the kids

Having a low mojo, over working and over-whelm will not make you a super star leader.


Learning how to pace yourself is important and that often means taking breaks even when you don’t think you can afford the time.


Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes including you.


And, only your kids will remember if you worked late in 20 years time. Do not prioritise pleasing your work colleague ahead of your family.


My greatest regret after 20 years in Executive roles is choosing work over family. Don’t make the same mistake I did.



So there we have it. The holiday season is nearly upon us.


I am looking forward to 2024…more thinking, more calling out the BS to give a voice to the stuff we all think and more Executive Coaching to help grow awesome leaders.


Have a fabulous holiday season and I will see you again in January 2024.


And remember….There really is a better way to lead.



If in 2024, if you want to master some of the things we discuss here, book in a discovery call and lets make 2024 your most successful and impactful year ever.










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