What skills will leaders need in the AI world?

What Skills Will Leaders Need in the AI World?

Value EI above AI for Positive Results

According to a recent EY study, 85% of US CEOs are optimistic about AI. EY’s CIO Jeff Wong remarks, “AI is transforming businesses for the better as CEOs and boards are seeing the bottom-line impact the technology is having on their businesses.” 

AI can transform a manager’s working day. A study conducted by technology consultancy West Monroe Partners found that 23% of managers spend five or more hours per day undertaking administration tasks, while a further 36% spend three to four hours each day on admin. As AI improves, it can do more of these tasks for managers. These managers can then use their time more effectively, and more easily progress to be tomorrow’s leaders. 

The question is, what skills will be important for leaders in an AI world?

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is essential to develop solutions to today’s problems. AI can provide enormous amounts of analyzed data for managers and leaders to use strategically. Relying solely on logical thinking will not help organizations to move ahead of their competition. 

Managers must be able to think more critically when presented with data, and to then apply creative problem solving to real-world issues. While AI may reduce the time that it takes to do tasks, or eliminate the need to do those tasks entirely, it cannot replicate the creativity that entrepreneurial managers and leaders employ to drive business strategy.

Emotional Intelligence

AI does not possess the ability to interact with humans on an emotional level. It may be able to analyze verbal and nonverbal communication and understand how communication garners different reactions from audiences, but robots cannot replicate the emotional intelligence that we possess. 

Emotional intelligence is what allows us to understand our own natural reactions, empathize with others, and shape behaviors. Those managers and leaders who develop their emotional intelligence are more able to cope with stress and positively impact their workforce and those around them. 

When leaders are empathetic, it helps them to develop trusting relationships. This empowers a positive workplace environment, in which transparency helps to motivate performance. As managers and leaders embrace AI and trust it to do more of their administrative tasks, this will allow those managers and leaders to spend more time getting to know their people, foster strong relationships, and develop the environment in which individuals and teams thrive.

Communication skills such as empathy, listening, and processing feedback are abilities that will prove increasingly relevant as the use of AI in the workplace grows.

Humble Learners

Good leaders know what they don’t know, and they seek to close this knowledge gap by being learners. They will be humble, willing to admit their gaps in knowledge and accept help from their employees as well as others inside and outside their organization. This helps to create an environment of trust, enable identification of talent, and foster more meaningful teamwork.

Value Emotional Intelligence above AI

As AI helps managers and leaders complete admin tasks faster, they will be left with more time to positively impact their employees and teams. Emotional intelligence is the key to helping your employees achieve their potential. 

AI is giving managers and leaders more time to connect with their people. Talented managers and leaders will embrace this time by developing their emotional intelligence to become more self-aware and socially aware, to enhance their ability to adapt their behavior to encourage positive outcomes and turn conflict into innovation.

Contact us today, and discover how we could help your managers and leaders be more effective in an AI world.


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