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Global Leadership Forecast 2023

Welcome to the world's largest leadership study.

DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast is one of the most expansive leadership research projects in the world. Since 1999, we have examined the state and business impact of leadership development practices and leader experiences within and across organizations in major industries and economies around the globe. 

What's in It for You

This leadership study is designed to help C-suite and HR professionals understand the most pressing leadership challenges facing businesses over the next three years, and take action to prepare. This report tracks both broad trends on the state of leadership and offers practical, research-driven guidance to implement successful leadership strategies.

By the Numbers

The Global Leadership Forecast 2023 surveyed 1,827 human resource professionals and 13,695 leaders from 1,556 organizations around the world. The research, which spans more than 50 countries and 24 major industry sectors, delivers deep insights into best talent and leadership practices.


A Restless Leadership Pipeline

This year’s leadership report reveals crumbling trust that company leaders are prepared for the challenges ahead.

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Fragile Workforces Keep CEOs Up at Night

In the wake of one of the most dramatic workforce reshufflings in history, CEOs’ top concerns focus on talent, outranking other economic and business challenges.

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Top Companies Reap the Benefits of Bench Strength

Companies are struggling to build their leadership benches in a tough labor market, but the few that are succeeding reap significant benefits.

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A Crisis of Trust in Leadership

Leaders struggle to build trust, especially leaders at the top. However, trust is crucial to the success of remote and hybrid work, talent attraction and retention, and other business challenges.

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Confidence in Leadership Takes a Nosedive

Employees became more cynical after the pandemic. Leaders hit burnout and are struggling to build a strong vision for growth amid new economic and labor paradigms.

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Hybrid Work Doesn’t Deliver Its Promise

Often hyped as the great compromise between remote and in-person work, leaders are reporting the least satisfaction with hybrid arrangements.

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Purpose Drives Engagement

Having a strong sense of purpose at work has a powerful effect on leaders’ engagement and retention rates. Yet many leaders struggle to find their purpose, especially those at lower levels.

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Coaching Cultures Are Effective, But Dwindling

Over the past few years, there has been a drop in the percentage of companies that rely heavily on coaching to develop their leaders. However, those that do develop leaders’ coaching skills see significant returns.

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Five Skills Leaders Need for the Future

Leaders want to strengthen skills in five areas that will help them lead through uncertainty ahead. But few companies are focusing development efforts on these key skills.

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Leaders Crave the Human Experience of Learning

In-person learning experiences with peers dominate leaders’ preferences for development. The most successful learning strategies offer cohesive approaches that span multiple levels.

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A Race to Retain High-Potential Talent

High-potential leaders are keenly aware of their opportunities in a tight labor market and have high expectations of their managers and senior leaders if they are going to stay.

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About the Authors

Stephanie Neal, M.A.

Stephanie Neal, M.A.

is Director of DDI’s Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER), and general manager of the Global Leadership Forecast.

Rosey Rhyne, M.A.

Rosey Rhyne, M.A.

is Senior Research Manager of DDI’s Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER).

Jazmine Boatman, Ph.D.

Jazmine Boatman, Ph.D.

is Senior Vice President, U.S. Operations.

Bruce Watt, Ph.D.

Bruce Watt, Ph.D.

is Senior Vice President, International Operations.

Mindy Yeh, M.A.

Mindy Yeh, M.A.

is Senior Vice President, Asia.

More Global Leadership Forecast Reports

As we look for deeper insights into the state of leadership, we are creating subreports that explore our data through the lens of specific topics. Click below to explore more of our research.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report 2023

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CEO Leadership Report 2023

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About DDI

DDI is a global leadership consulting firm that helps organizations hire, promote and develop exceptional leaders. From first-time managers to C-suite executives, DDI is by leaders’ sides, supporting them in every critical moment of leadership. Built on five decades of research and experience in the science of leadership, DDI’s evidence-based assessment and development solutions enable millions of leaders around the world to succeed, propelling their organizations to new heights.

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