Is AI a treat for human leadership?
Artificial Intelligence is meant to improve human intelligence and maybe replace it in its cognitive aspects. The journalists from Harvard Business Review say that also the way of taking decisions will be highly affected by the AI development. This means that many aspects of acquiring data and processing facts and information will be supplied by Artificial Intelligence. But also, AI will lead to an extensive interest on soft power skills like attitudes, gestures, personality traits.
Soft skills like personality traits are twice important as IQ
It doesn’t seem to be anything new when it comes to this shift from hard to soft aspects of leadership. 50 years of research reviewed in meta-analytic studies show that personality traits such as curiosity, extraversion, and emotional stability are twice as important as IQ — the well-known metric for reasoning capability — when it comes to evaluating leadership effectiveness.
Even though the foundations of what it means effective leadership is unlikely to change on a large extent, we cannot deny the very powerful influence of the environmental changes that may have reshaped the critical skills and attitudes that determine leaders to be effective. It might be with the development of language when leadership became envisioned as a sum of cognitive skills, at the expense of physical attributes.
The suggestion of HBR experts is that in an age of rapid change, we need to reconsider the foundations of effective leadership, meaning that some attributes as expertise, power, authority, focus are losing their privilege and others as humility, adaptability, vision, and constant engagement, are likely to play a key role in more-agile ways of leadership.
In an abundant informational age is essential to stay true to yourself and admit that you don’t know so many things. Leaders in the AI age must be sincere about their limited knowledge and be eager to update daily, must be open to learning continuously. Also, they should trust and delegate tasks to others because with the droves of data around us, it’s impossible to manage every level down the organizational structure. In the AI age, a good leader understands that an employee with a lower rank or less experience can be an important part of the organization.
Bertrand Russell: “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
Adaptability. Focus on the learning process more than being right
The power of rapidly changing and react to trends is one of the main insight for the leaders and employees nowadays. It’s essential to stay updated, to adapt, to embrace opportunities and combat threats as they come up along the professional path. This means being open and fight with your ego when it comes to new ideas that often can contradict personal opinions. In an AI era, revising opinions and accepting that you cannot be right all the time won’t be perceived as a weakness, but as a strength, because it leads to a bigger purpose: improving the long-term decision process. The leaders of the AI age are not afraid to embrace challenges and keep their focus on continuous learning than being right.
The capability to predict changes based on knowledge always played an essential role in effective leadership. But in an AI age with the fast-forward changes characteristics a clear vision is more than important because there is less clarity with lots of variables and questions from their peers and employees. That’s why leaders that really know to shrewdly answer these questions and apply required changes are considered visionaries.
We should always keep an eye on the biggest guru of the digital world. Leaders of Amazon, Tesla, Facebook, Tencent, Alibaba, and Google, have evidently articulated visions for their companies, even when they’re facing insecurities and challenges.
Adapting to changes means staying in full accordance with the environment where you develop your organization. It’s pivotal to understand the changes surrounding you and the employees in order to ensure a correct and effective reaction when it comes to threats and dynamic changes. Digital tools can help increase engagement in the AI age.
Even though the leadership won’t be essentially changed in the AI era, there are two main distinctions. Hard skills will shortly be removed by machines, while soft skills like emotional intelligence and integrity will stay very important.