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5 Skills All Leaders Need in Times of Transition

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are invincible realities of the technological domain and businesses, especially leaders, must embrace them to stay updated and learn new decision-making skills.

The intelligence revolution, as we’d like to address it, has begun and is occurring fiercely at all levels. Thus, it is imperative for leaders to automate redundant tasks and enable their employees to invest in more productive pieces of work.

Till a couple of years ago, important decision-makers spent a significant amount of time on several laborious tasks such as making data-driven decisions, scheduling, and coordinating.

Recommended: The Difference between Augmented Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence

With the onset of AI, now, leaders don’t have to worry about tasks like managing calendars, scheduling meetings from anywhere, enabling remote work, manually streamlining call flows, etc. From chatbots and real-time insights to predictive analysis and 24*7 assistance, AI and ML have streamlined operations and solved business problems.

While there is a never-ending debate about whether AI will replace humans in their workplace or not, here are a few tasks that AI can perform better than humans:

  • Collect data
  • Data analysis
  • Extract results from the data
  • Suggest and implement a course of action

Leadership in the Age of AI – a study by Infosys revealed that around 45% of organizations around the world that have implemented AI techniques are reaping far more accurate results.

Top 5 skills leaders need to imbibe in the dynamic age of AI.

You may have implemented most of the AI-driven techniques and tools, and you may have a strong vision backed with throbbing ideas, but success may still feel elusive if your team doesn’t follow you.  In the current AI-driven age, while AI does automate manual repetitive tasks, there are still a few skills that you need to master to become a bankable leader.

Change begins with you

The fundamental mantra for the leaders of today and tomorrow is to be in complete sync with AI-empowered technology and use it to streamline workflows, solve problems, and achieve business goals while encouraging teams to work around the same.

As they say, change is the only constant. And as a leader, if you want to establish consistency in deliverables, you must match steps with the changes AI is bringing. You should be more adept at bringing about change in your organization. Instead of feeling discomfort about trying new technologies and celebrating change, you must view it as an exciting opportunity, to evolve and innovate, both individually as well as at an organizational level.

Recommended: The Difference between Augmented Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence

Currently, several organizations are desperately trying to match up with the ever-increasing global competition while struggling with something as basic yet dynamic as digital transformation and enhancing customer experiences. Here, the key to being a skillful leader is to have the ability to explore innovations, imbibe them and lead change. It goes without saying that many would categorically say that the most striking difference between good managers versus good leaders (based on our assumptions) is that great leaders encourage to bring change. 

Emotionally intelligent

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As companies adopt AI at an astonishing rate, as a leader you should focus more on soft skills like intelligence and empathy which are far more critical for the smooth functioning of the team. The fact of the matter is, today, emotional intelligence is as important as any other hard skill. For your workplace to prioritize such skills, it’s important to drive the change and be an example yourself. While AI algorithms, with the help of natural language processing, linguistics, and psychology, are slowly detecting pitch, tone, facial expression, and body language, it is humans who excel at building relationships and creative communication.

A study found that we are capable of making better decisions with the help of emotional intelligence.

A study by Google revealed that emotional intelligence has more to do with one’s successful role as a manager than any technical skill.

People-First Approach

You can never become a great leader unless you believe and invest in your team first. Michèle Flournoy, a former Undersecretary of Defense For Policy from 2009 to 2012 under President Obama, stated that leaders who are all about a people-first approach set themselves apart and are leaders in the truest sense. She asserted that no manager can achieve optimal performance unless they invest in their own people.

Recommended: Potential Role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Employee Experience Management

One of the main ingredients for a successful and to make a difference for the organization as well as the team is to put employees first no matter what. There are three aspects of the people-first approach – genuine care, elevated employee experience, and serving others. When you genuinely show that you value your employees, rather than just treating them as numbers, you build trust and respect.

Celebrates diversity, inclusivity

Today, the stakes for a diverse and inclusive work environment are very high. A leader who is inclusive and open to having a diverse team is a winner in all respects. Creating a comfortable environment where your employees feel safe, secure, and supported, breaking free from biases/discrimination, and encouraging a work culture that is of inclusion and belongingness is always a win-win. Here are a few ways you can do your part.

  • Observe and listen to all versions and perspectives to truly encourage inclusivity.
  • Identify bias and discrimination and address it.
  • Refrain from moral policing. Give your employees the space to discuss their life (irrespective of their gender, sexuality, etc) without the fear of being judged.
  • Ask questions respectfully.
  • Discover blind spots and ensure transparent decision-making.

Strong Decision-Maker

Another vital aspect of becoming a great leader is to know the art of balancing emotions with reasons and be able to make decisions in all fairness that is not just helping themselves, but also the team, the customers, and the stakeholders. Let’s face it. When there’s really an emergency, taking the right decision becomes tricky.

There’s so much at stake – the fear, the uncertainty, and the stress. Here’s where the traits of a good leader come into play. To take the first step, one must build on their critical thinking skills to identify the problem and then come up with a solution that is collectively beneficial for everyone.


Becoming an inclusive, bankable, trustworthy leader is a long way to go. But in the journey, remember to be fair, unbiased, and inclusive while believing in your team and motivating them no matter what the situation is.

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