As AI makes more decisions, the nature of leadership will change

The fourth industrial revolution is here. Are you ready? If we see our intelligence as one of our greatest strengths, especially at work, and artificial intelligence (AI) replaces that, then how will we remain relevant?

For some this is scary; it should be if you’re stuck in the rut of valuing your subject matter expertise over relationship skills.

For me it’s not that daunting. The move from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’ leadership skills isn’t new. Leadership development folks already know that personality traits such as curiosity, extraversion and emotional stability are twice as important as IQ.

When machines do the ‘hard’ stuff, will you be excellent at the ‘soft’ stuff? What is your ability like when it comes to:

  • Humility… knowing that you don’t know, staying deeply curious and being open-minded about who, how, when and where you’ll learn from
  • Adaptability… being open to new ideas, changing your mind and opinions, even when doing so threatens your ego
  • Setting a vision… can you see one and can you communicate well enough to get others to see it to?
  • Constant engagement… be in tune with your environment and context. Dial down the noise and pick up on signals – the threats and the opportunities. Keep others engaged, particularly when the going gets tough.

The machines aren’t coming, they’re here and they’re getting smarter by the day. Leadership skills will be even more important and so will the ability to build great followership – that is followers who challenge both you and the status quo.

The HBR article below doesn’t mention empathy, but for me innovation and change start here. Are you willing to see someone else’s pain point… your customer’s, your team’s, your colleague’s? This is where innovation, design thinking and your humanity begin.

Thanks to Debbie Craig of Catalyst Consulting for sharing this article.

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