10 Essential Leadership Skills in the AI Era

Sertis
4 min readJan 17, 2024

Being a great leader has never been easy, and it is even more challenging in this AI era!

AI has completely transformed the professional world, bringing about many advancements, while simultaneously causing several risks and concerns. This poses a significant challenge for leaders in the age of AI, as they must navigate the delicate balance between risk management and business growth.

If you are a leader, including managers and team leads, let’s explore 10 essential leadership skills in the AI era that will make you a great leader, capable of guiding your business and team toward their full potential.

1. Emotional Intelligence

According to a survey, 74% of leaders consider emotional intelligence a crucial skill in the AI era. This skill encompasses the ability to understand and manage both others’ and our own emotions, fostering strong professional relationships. Leaders with high emotional intelligence also demonstrate empathy toward their teams or employees. In the rapidly evolving world influenced by robotics, where job security concerns may arise, emotional intelligence becomes indispensable. This skill empowers leaders to exemplify effective coping strategies in challenging situations.

2. Agility

In the rapidly evolving AI era, agility is a crucial leadership skill. Leaders not only need to adapt to changes, such as incorporating new technologies and making swift decisions on strategy or business plan adjustments but also embrace these changes as opportunities for personal and professional growth. Continuous learning is vital for leaders, and they should encourage their employees to share the same vision.

3. Cultural Intelligence

In the globalized world, intensified by the influence of AI, workplaces are more diverse than ever. With people working remotely or relocating to other countries for on-site work, and businesses focusing on global strategies, cultural intelligence has become a crucial leadership skill. Great leaders must possess cultural intelligence to comprehend and promote diversity in the workplace, respecting differences in backgrounds, nationalities, and opinions. Furthermore, they should see diversity as a source of creativity and actively encourage employees to grow into their best selves.

4. Humility

Great leaders strike a balance between confidence and humility. It is crucial to avoid excessive ego and recognize oneself as an integral part of the team, acknowledging the significance of each team member’s unique role. They don’t see themselves as superior or possessing absolute authority, instead, providing opportunities for others to shine. Additionally, they understand both their own and their teams’ limits and capabilities, avoiding overestimation or underestimation.

5. Accountability

In today’s increasingly flat organizational structures, with project-based collaborations across various teams and levels, accountability plays a pivotal role. Great leaders take responsibility for their actions and willingly accept the consequences of their decisions. Simultaneously, they prioritize transparency in the process, ensuring that goals align with the company’s best interests.

6. Courage

The rapid disruption caused by AI has reshaped the professional world, bringing unprecedented changes to various aspects. Consequently, courage stands out as another essential leadership skill. Great leaders exhibit the courage to confront and adapt to changes, take risks, embrace continuous learning, and let go of strategies, ideas, or approaches that no longer prove effective. They understand the importance of failing fast, and getting up quickly, and are unafraid to acknowledge both their own and their team’s weaknesses in order to address and correct them.

7. Intuition

Intuition remains one of the unique human abilities that AI cannot imitate. In our ever-innovative world, intuitive decisions still play a crucial role in certain matters. Great leaders possess a sharp intuition, enabling them to make decisions and predictions based on years of experience. At times, the success or failure of a business relies on the leader’s intuition.

8. Focus

Among the multitude of technologies, tools, and directions offered by AI, great leaders know what truly matters and stay focused. In the face of changing trends that may distract the company’s direction, leaders must not become overly absorbed in every trend, risking confusion in the business’s direction. Instead, they prioritize the most important goals and align strategies, directions, technologies, and tools with those goals.

9. Ethical Judgment

While AI comes with superior capabilities, human ethical judgment remains essential to control AI and prevent social damage. Another crucial leadership skill is ethical judgment — knowing how to use AI properly and fairly, while always considering the consequences carefully. Great leaders must strike a balance by being open-minded enough to optimize AI and maximize its benefits, all while upholding ethical standards.

10. Critical and Creative Thinking

While AI excels at faster and more accurate computational analysis, it lacks the unique human capability of critical thinking. In the AI era, great leaders require critical thinking to analyze problems from various perspectives, leveraging knowledge, logic, context, and experiences. Additionally, leaders need creativity to think outside the box and generate innovative solutions and ideas to enhance their business.

Although some of you may have worried that AI will replace us, through this article, you can see more clearly that our uniquely human skills are and will remain essential for a long time. What we possess is precisely what AI lacks, and only through the collaboration between humans and AI can we achieve the fullest growth for both the world and humanity.

Sertis is a company and a community of people thriving to grow along with AI. We go full steam ahead to build data and AI solutions for businesses across all industries. Let’s build the future with us

Learn more about Sertis’ solutions: https://www.sertiscorp.com/solutions

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