Council Post: 15 Challenges Coaches Will Work On With Executive Clients In 2023

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Without an effective approach to tackle them, the countless challenges executive business leaders face on a daily basis can take a toll on their performance. Learning how to move through and overcome these challenges can lead to incredible growth and opportunity for both an individual leader and their company.

Forbes Coaches Council members often help C-suite leaders prepare to confront key obstacles in the modern business world. Below, 15 members share their predictions for the biggest challenges executive clients will focus on conquering in their coaching engagements in 2023.

1. Achieving Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance could still be the greatest concern for executives as the pressure from a potential economic recession grows in 2023. Striving for well-being is a must for leaders to survive, as it is their well-being that is most at risk. Gaining more self-awareness of one’s limitations on the individual level, creatively finding new approaches in all areas of life and empowering a coaching culture on the organizational level could help to take the load off leaders. – Judit Ábri von Bartheld, CHN LLC – Coaching Without Borders Hungary (Coaching Határok Nélkül)

2. Moving Past ‘The Recession Mindset’

Business owners are reacting to the risk of global recession as if it is already impacting their businesses. Yes, we may be heading into a recession, but the majority of our clients—assuming they are offering their products or services correctly—will not be affected by this recession. It won’t stop customers from spending; it’s about how our clients position themselves in the marketplace. – Daren Henderson, Trade Coach Ltd

3. Operating In A ‘Post-Normal’ World

Any “normal” we’d hoped to return to remains elusive. Hybrid and remote work, distribution and an economy in flux are the logistical challenges of today. Yet, restructured, destabilized professional and social landscapes are having the deepest impact. Leaders are building the ship as they sail; employees must work in unison. Trust, understanding and transparency are now concrete vital tools to survive and thrive. – Leeza Carlone Steindorf, Core Success Coaching

4. Prioritizing Mental Health

Uncertainty, work logistics, “quiet quitting” and more have taken a toll on professionals’ mental health. Start by asking your employees if they are satisfied with their jobs. If they are not, try to give them more responsibility or change the work situation in some other way. Remember that happiness in the workplace is an important part of your company’s success. – Divya Parekh, DP Group


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5. Strategic Problem-Solving

Organizations need strategic problem-solvers who assess how to get ahead of competitors and collaborate with stakeholders to design innovative solutions. Even the most successful companies risk obsoletion without strategists who future-proof their business. Coaches can help clients prioritize this work over their daily tasks and build these skills so that they can execute on strategic initiatives. – Bonnie Davis, HuWork – Inspiring Humans at Work

6. Dealing With Change

Old patterns are being disrupted at an accelerated rate. Change is inevitable, change is emotional, and change is distracting. Turbulent times require a greater focus on the flexible mindset of “winning” change. Leaders will focus on level-setting teams while also identifying specific talent who can extrapolate emerging trends outside the confines of limiting past behaviors. – Todd Zaugg, Matrix Achievement Group

7. Leading With Heart

One area that keeps rising to the forefront of our many executive coaching discussions is how to lead with and show more heart and vulnerability in an authentic, genuine and meaningful way. The first step to unlocking and fine-tuning this ability is to begin diving into our own inner core. Becoming aware of strengths to leverage and needs to develop is fundamental to unleashing true greatness. – Dr. Mike Smith, John Mattone Global

8. Fulfilling DEI Commitments

As we approach the third anniversary of the killing of George Floyd, business leaders are still struggling to fulfill their 2020 public commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Successful leaders will overcome public scrutiny by aligning their DEI strategies with the business and being transparent in communicating their sustainable action plan for achieving their established goals. – Meredith Leigh Moore, Leverette Weekes

9. Redesigning The Workweek

Leaders will be further challenged to redesign the workweek. From the number of days and the times and spaces for engagement with remote work to cutting costs without having to cut talent and implementing equitable practices across generations and competing priorities, leaders will need to shift their mindset and be ready for difficult conversations around reconceptualizing the workweek. – Samara Hakim, CulturGrit

10. Communicating With Influence

Leaders need to build skills to communicate consistently with influence. They need to be consciously practicing their verbal and nonverbal communication like an athlete practices for a big game. We need to be aware of how others perceive us through our communication rather than what we believe to be true. Communication impacts every aspect of our life, our performance and our results. – Stacey Hanke, Stacey Hanke Inc.

11. Adapting To The VUCA World

With so many organizations changing and adapting to the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world—or, as some coaches and consultants are calling it in this time period, the “chaotic world”—leadership at the top can be challenging. Executive coaching clients will want knowledge about how to navigate key internal and external stakeholder relationships, as well as knowledge about how to deliver results while navigating new complexities and being strategic. – Lyne Desormeaux, Desormeaux Leadership Consulting

12. Restoring Personal Energy And Enthusiasm

Leaders this year need to restore and engage. The residual damages from the pandemic have taken their toll on executives. Now that companies are back to business and employees are coming back to work, it’s important for leaders to focus on themselves—to renew their capacity to engage and restore their energy and enthusiasm for helping their employees do the same. – Joelle Jay, LRI

13. Communicating Across Modes And Generations

Honing communication skills will be at the top of the list. Whether work is back to being in person, stays remote or is a hybrid between the two, effective communication will be a consistent challenge to overcome. Leaders will need to understand how to communicate across a variety of modes and generations to be able to connect with an increasingly diverse workforce. – Monisha Toteja, Dynamic Speaking

14. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

The biggest issue business leaders face, myself included, is overcoming imposter syndrome: the feeling that you are a fraud or haven’t earned your accomplishments. Imposter syndrome is a double-edged sword—that constant desire to do better can also prevent us from experimenting and learning. Imposter syndrome can stem from childhood trauma or toxic environments. How you manage it starts with awareness. – Nada Buhendi, Nada Buhendi

15. Developing New Leaders

Developing leaders in any organization will always give you a return in your investment. In challenging times leadership development takes a back seat. Organizations that focus on leadership will stand out in a competitive market. – Raul Villacis, The Next Level Experience



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