The Desire for Employees to Be in Roles That Enhance Their Strengths.

When it comes to designing the future of work, one size fits none. Discovering success isn’t about a hybrid model or offering remote work options. Individuals and organizations are looking for more freedom. The freedom to choose the work model that makes the most sense. The freedom to choose their own values. And the freedom to pursue what matters most. We reached out to successful leaders and thought leaders across all industries to glean their insights and predictions about how to create a future that works.

As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Patricia Arboleda.

She is a highly successful certified Executive & Leadership Coach and the Founder of Arboleda Coaching, a company that empowers driven women and LatinX to accelerate their success, take their careers to the next level, and break through barriers to build the futures that they want and deserve.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Let’s zoom out. What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10–15 years from now? What do you predict will be different?

I see a radical shift happening — in four ways :

  1. People will look for roles/companies that align with their life’s mission/vision/purpose.
  2. Employees will gravitate to companies that invest in their growth, not just as a worker, but as a human being.
  3. Our emerging leaders will want to be nurtured, not managed. They’re looking for growth opportunities, that are not one-off arrangements, but that are continually built into their everyday work. That puts a lot of pressure on today’s leaders, as they need to develop coaching skills to show themselves powerfully for their teams.
  4. The pandemic has helped us all see the importance of our making and spending time with those we care about. In the future, I see this being at the forefront of a lot of employee/company conversations — — how can we empower our employees to have meaningful careers that don’t take away from their personal lives?

What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?

Those companies that will be successful in the future will be those that place an emphasis on nurturing the whole person. These companies will invest in mental health wellness, provide mentorship and coaching opportunities, place employees in roles that speak to their strengths, and incorporate leadership training and coaching as part of their professional development plans. Not to mention, companies that recruit, hire, train, and mentor diverse leaders — at all levels — will undoubtedly be positioned

What do you predict will be the biggest gaps between what employers are willing to offer and what employees expect as we move forward? And what strategies would you offer about how to reconcile those gaps?

Companies are investing a lot of money in training. When people go to training, they get excited about learning new things, but as soon as they return to their everyday life, they go back to doing things the old way. Employees have lost interest in traditional training; they are looking for mentoring and Coaching.

I have seen companies that have started to include Coaching as part of their development offer. The problem is that they do it in isolation, which is not enough to create a real impact. That’s why I have developed a unique framework that includes Training + Coaching, + Accountability, creating fundamental transformation and behavioral change. The results speak for themselves. More than 60% of the participants of my programs have gotten a promotion or moved to a new role that had a more significant impact.

We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?

So many workers had the chance to work from home and experience life without having to commute every day. For many of these workers, it’s created a great desire for them to continue working from home and being able to control how they work best. I think this opens up a larger conversation about the state of work and what (in this current model) is working and what’s not.

This is where having open dialogue with your employees and creating open forums for everyone’s voice and opinions to be heard becomes so relevant. Because we’ve all seen how quickly things can change and the need to remain agile and adaptable — I see employees wanting a larger investment in professional development and coaching to help them build a portfolio of skills and abilities that can help them achieve job security.

Companies should explore opportunities to partner with Executive Coaches to not just train their staff, but to help them upskill in the areas of mindset. When companies can empower their people to have the right mindset, then they’ll be positioned to thrive — no matter what happens next in the world.

We’ve all read the headlines about how the pandemic reshaped the workforce. What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?

The word that comes to mind is flexibility. If we are shifting to a space where we are working from home, more than we are working in an office, then we have to be sensitive to each other’s situations. Not all employees have a dedicated office at home, many employees may have to juggle being the provider and the caregiver for not just children but for their elderly parents. As a society, we will need to be more understanding of what is realistic to demand of people. Is it realistic to think that someone should work 60+ hours a week because they’re a Senior leader? That’s why I think the conversation has to shift more to how do we create better boundaries to help employees meet their role requirements and still have time and space for their families.

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?

Creating diverse mentorship and coaching programs I believe will be key. Not only does it help to build connections between people in the organization (which is SO important), it also lets aspiring leaders see and learn what it takes to lead at higher levels. However, the key with this is that these programs must showcase diversity. As we know representation is critical, so creating opportunities for women and minorities specially to get coaching and mentoring from leaders that “look like them” will be so powerful in the future.

Let me emphasize the importance of having a role model as a coach or mentor. What I have found is that the women that work with me, find a connection because they see that I am coaching from my own experience as a Latina who moved up the ranks in corporate America.

Having women in senior leadership roles, sets an example for the women behind them who are looking to rise. When they understand that it can be done, they get stronger and start building their path to success with intentionality.

Another important thing is to focus on developing the leader as a coach. That’s why I have developed a unique Leadership Coaching with Horses program that allows leaders to connect with nature and truly tap into a new level of self-awareness that can be life changing. It is an accelerator to create real transformation and develop soft skills like empathy, communication, collaboration, and innovation, which are some of the soft skills that leaders should have.

Our collective mental health and wellbeing are now considered collateral as we consider the future of work. What innovative strategies do you see employers offering to help improve and optimize their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?

Having a strong mindset is the foundation for achieving success. More than 80% of the people that reach out to me looking for coaching to accelerate their success have one or more pervasive beliefs that are stopping them from moving forward. Recent research has shown that even when women are overqualified for a position, many still do not apply. This often comes back to their narrative around their abilities; many find themselves lost in the perfectionist trap.

Companies should invest more in providing the right tools to help their employees develop an unshakeable mindset. This will empower their employees to take control over their career advancement, set healthy boundaries to reduce burnout, and connect with their purpose, increasing their motivation. That’s why in all of the corporate programs that I offer, the first thing we work on is Mindset. When we change our beliefs, we change our results.

It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’. ‘The Great Reconfiguration’. And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’. What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines? How do company cultures need to evolve?

The biggest message is that investing in the person, not just the position is key. People are leaving their jobs in record numbers because they don’t feel valued, listened to, supported, etc. For companies, they need to make the transition to nurturing their employees’ strengths and they also must be willing to invest in their personal and professional growth.

Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”

  1. Employees want Mentors not Managers.
  2. Mindset Becoming the New Leadership Skill.
  3. The Importance of Companies Respecting Work Life Balance.
  4. The Need for Leaders to Develop Soft Skills to Inspire Their Teams.
  5. The Desire for Employees to Be in Roles That Enhance Their Strengths.

I keep quotes on my desk and on scraps of paper to stay inspired. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And how has this quote shaped your perspective?

I always say, “Don’t be perfect, be courageous”. Many times we get stuck in this limiting belief that we can’t make a mistake or that we will wait to take action until the time is right. This mentality keeps so many of us from going after the things that we want in our lives and careers. Instead, I say to be courageous and be willing to fail, be willing to not have everything figured out, and be willing to just try.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might just see this if we tag them.

Having a private lunch with Oprah Winfrey would be a dream come true. I truly admire her strength, her ability to inspire others through her story, her courage to go after what she wants, and her authentic vulnerability. When I think of the consummate leader, who understands how to lead and how to nurture those around them, Oprah is at the top of that list for me!

Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?

I would love to connect with people through my website (, via email ([email protected]), on Instagram ( and on LinkedIn (

Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.