<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=280235315724709&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Team Effectiveness

Modern Leadership in the Age of AI

Modern Leadership in the Age of AI

A New, Complex Territory of Innovation

In today's ever-evolving business landscape, the in-your-face AI sirens sounding the news of increased productivity and a solution for everything is both exciting and unnerving. Leaders and laypeople are trying to wrap their heads around how AI will change our work and lives. At the intersection of AI and leadership, many are grappling with how to embrace the speed of the unknown while managing with a people-first approach. 

A Historical Shift

Leadership has always been an art and a science. It demands a unique blend of adaptability, instinct, and resilience. The leadership continuum reflects humans' dynamic nature from ancient civilizations to modern societies. As AI ushers in this next transformative era, leadership will require imagination and a nuanced understanding of the technology's capabilities, limitations, and the profound impact it can have on organizational dynamics.

Recent findings gathered by Forbes conclude that:

  • AI is expected to contribute a 21% net increase to the United States GDP by 2030, showcasing its impact on economic growth.
  • A significant 64% of businesses believe that artificial intelligence will help increase their overall productivity. This demonstrates the growing confidence in AI's potential to transform business operations.

Like those who navigated other historical shifts in manufacturing and productivity, be it factory automation or email, today's leaders will emerge with a newfound confidence and vision. They will leverage their superpowers to learn as they go, fail at times, and look back in amazement at their ability to adapt and bring others along. 

Think of AI as Your Newest Teammate

Like any new team member, there is an onboarding and acceptance process that slowly integrates AI into the flow of an organization. Model to your team, peers, and executive leaders that AI is part of a culture of continuous learning and embracing new perspectives. And above all, AI will be an ongoing asset to your team. AI-powered tools can help team members be more productive. We must manage our teams to be part of that innovation, not resent it. Much like that highly skilled assistant or programmer, AI is there to help us succeed—not to steal jobs. By continuing to foster working environments that excel at collaboration, psychological safety, and human-centric values; AI has the potential to help individuals, teams, and organizations reach their full potential.
Consider this prediction by Ned Rhinelander, Chief Technology Officer of Boston-based, human-focused technology company meQuilibrium:

"In 2024, we can expect unprecedented integration of artificial intelligence in the workforce. For most workers, AI will become a side-by-side co-worker. While this may feel threatening, it presents opportunities. The core skills for success—growth mindset, positivity, self-awareness, and sound judgment—will be as critical as ever when interacting with AI. … The soft skills we use with human co-workers will prove even more vital when leveraging this new technology."

It is crucial as leaders to manage with the notion that humans—unlike AI—can form deep, multi-faceted connections with others and can actually be human and collaborative!

As AI becomes a more integrated co-worker, disengaging from our uniquely human capabilities is a risk. To some, talking and cooperating with the machine may seem easier. Leaders must continue to prioritize soft skills such as listening and actionable feedback while simultaneously gathering input and analysis from the human perspective.

AI Increases the Need for Uniquely Human Skills

A recent LinkedIn survey found that 9 out of 10 global executives agree that soft skills (also known as "human" or "durable" skills) are more important than ever. So, it's not surprising that communication ranks No. 1 on the 2024 list of overall most in-demand skills.

With this, ensuring the safety and security of learners becomes paramount. The very nature of continuous learning and adaptation to new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, implies that learners are frequently venturing into unknown territories that evoke fear and feelings of vulnerability. Being an emotionally intelligent leader has never been more important. Environments that encourage learner safety will make fostering an AI-embedded culture of innovation and growth easier. 

As leaders and teams delegate routine, repetitive tasks to machines, valuable time will be freed up to concentrate on uniquely human competencies and interactions. Leaders can redirect their attention to mentorship, inclusivity, communication, and collaboration. Ideally, this boost in productivity empowers leaders to focus on the aspects of leadership that leverage our uniquely human qualities, ultimately contributing to a more dynamic, engaged, and forward-thinking workplace.

I look forward to this continuous human improvement opportunity.

With better psychological safety, every leader, employee, or team member can contribute, challenge, and bring the best of themselves to your organization. Psychological safety training is a proven tactic for creating engaged teams who trust one another, commit to common goals, and achieve bottom-line results. Follow the link below to register for our upcoming workshop and explore how psychological safety can positively impact your leaders, teams, and organizations:

Register for The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety Public Workshop

Julie Smith

Julie Smith is always looking for ways to make any client experience and engagement better. As FlashPoint's Director of Client Services, Julie's passion is shaping talent development, culture, and people operations to inspire higher levels of engagement and performance.