Is there a more popular buzzword than “AI” these days? The speed at which it permeated nearly every aspect of our lives has been remarkable. As leaders, we can’t ignore these seismic shifts. We have to embrace them. This means continuously learning about new Artificial Intelligence developments and thinking strategically about how these can be harnessed for business growth and competitive advantage.
What does this look like?
One of the most tangible impacts I see AI having on leadership is on decision-making. Leaders now have unprecedented access to data – AI algorithms can analyze market trends, consumer behaviors, and internal performance metrics in ways that were previously out of reach. While leaders can now make more informed and strategic decisions, they must also have the requisite skills to interpret AI-generated insight, while balancing them with human experience and of course fact-checking.
Ethical considerations are also in the limelight. As AI systems become more involved in decision-making, leaders must ensure these decisions are fair, transparent, and ethical. This includes understanding biases in AI algorithms and actively working to mitigate them. Leaders must also navigate the impact of AI on employment, ensuring that the shift towards more automated processes is handled thoughtfully.
Lastly, and most aligned to the work I do, AI is redefining leadership roles and skills. The traditional view of a leader as the sole decision-maker and “task master” is shifting towards a more collaborative approach, where AI tools and human ingenuity work in tandem. As mentioned, leaders must become more technologically savvy, but also more emotionally intelligent. With AI handling more technical tasks, leaders can and should focus on human-centric skills such as empathy, creativity, and interpersonal communication.
Why does the human experience at work matter so much in the time of AI? As human beings, we are hardwired to have safe and secure relationships with others. We simply cannot function at a high or even average capacity without that foundation. This aligns with what 10 years of research says it means to be an effective and successful leader: “That the more human you are in your leadership, the better the outcomes for your teams, your organization, and yourself.” Remember, employees still want and value human-centered leaders, despite the shortfalls and blind spots that come along with them. And that’s not going away any time soon.