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June 07, 2023

AI and Leadership: 5 Ways AI Can (and Can’t) Help You Lead Better

It’s hard to miss the onslaught of news about Artificial Intelligence. Is it going to be the best thing to ever happen to humanity or the worst? Will it free us up from menial tasks? Or will it start talking like Arnold Schwarzenegger and rise up against us (“Hasta la vista, baby!”)? 🤷

Either way, AI is growing exponentially and it appears that the sky’s the limit! But are there any connections between AI and leadership? What does AI even know about leadership?!

According to ChatGPT, “Leadership is the ability to guide, inspire, and influence others towards a common goal through vision, effective communication, decision-making, motivation, integrity, adaptability, and empathy.” Not too shabby! 

As AI continues to evolve, it could become one of many resources we have for learning more about what it means to lead well. 

But – we also recognize that there are limitations to what AI can offer. In some cases, AI responses can contain factual inaccuracies. In other cases, its recommendations don’t reflect the true nuance of human situations. So tread carefully and balance AI recommendations against other sources of information and coaching.

With all that in mind, let’s look at how AI and leadership could work in tandem — How might AI tools help us learn to be better leaders?

5 ways AI can help improve your leadership skills:

1. Data-driven insights: It is a computer after all! AI can process and analyze lots of data, providing leaders with valuable insights about trends and patterns. You can use this information to solve problems and develop better strategies. 

One prompt could be, “Can you help me analyze this dataset? It contains [brief description of the dataset]. I’m looking for insights, trends, and patterns that could be valuable for [specific objective or problem].”

2. Situational advice: These tools can provide personalized advice based on an individual’s particular role, situation, or skill gaps. This can help with creating a personal development plan or career-boosting roadmap. This requires providing some context or examples for ChatGPT to analyze. 

One prompt could be, “What are some effective strategies or techniques I can use to get promoted to a manager position within [specific industry]?” You could also try, “What are some specific behaviors I could practice to help improve my listening skills?”

3. Enhanced productivity and efficiency: AI can automate administrative and repetitive tasks, freeing up leaders’ time to focus on things like higher-level strategy and team engagement.

For example, instead of spending time synthesizing your meeting notes for a follow-up report to your leadership team, use AI software like or to record and transcribe meetings, create summarized bullet points, and identify action items. 

4. Augmented decision-making: AI can assist leaders by generating scenarios and simulating outcomes, enabling them to make more accurate and effective decisions. Again, this requires that you provide additional context about the specific situation or challenge you’re facing. This will help you receive more tailored recommendations and guidance.

One prompt could be, “I’m a leader seeking to assess the potential positive and negative outcomes of a particular decision. In [this specific situation or challenge], what might be the outcomes of deciding to [describe decision/action]? Please generate alternative scenarios and assess their potential outcomes.”

5. Strike the right tone: Have you ever had to send an email and you struggle to make it sound the way you want it to? Maybe you’re sending an all-staff email and you wish it sounded more enthusiastic. Or perhaps you’re letting a job candidate know they weren’t a right fit, but want it to sound more conciliatory. 

This is where AI can come in handy. Try prompts like, “Can you re-write this email to be more enthusiastic?” Of course, you’ll have to still adapt it to your own authentic voice and ensure it fits with your company brand and policies.

5 limitations of AI in improving leadership skills:

Luckily there are some things AI can’t do! (Yet, that is.) 

1. Emotional intelligence and human interaction: As much as AI is designed to sound like a real person, it obviously doesn’t have emotions. This means it may struggle to fully comprehend and respond to emotional cues. In simple terms, a computer can’t pick up on the nuances that make up our day-to-day interactions. 

“As more and more artificial intelligence is entering into the world, more and more emotional intelligence must enter into leadership.” - Amit Ray


2. Contextual understanding: AI may struggle to grasp the broader context, cultural nuances, and subjective factors that influence leadership decisions and interactions. For example, AI couldn’t understand a long-running feud between different departments and how that might play into your decisions.

3. Ethical considerations: AI relies on algorithms and data, which can introduce biases or ethical dilemmas. Leaders must be cautious in relying solely on AI recommendations and ensure they align with ethical standards and values. Also, ChatGPT has a habit of presenting wrong or sometimes inaccurate factual information, so always double-check!

4. Creativity and innovation: AI excels in processing existing data and patterns but may struggle with generating truly creative and innovative ideas, which often require a combination of human intuition, imagination, and diverse perspectives.

5. Adaptive leadership: Leadership often requires adaptability and flexibility to navigate complex and dynamic situations. AI, while capable of analyzing historical data, can’t respond to unpredictable or unprecedented circumstances, which requires human judgment and intuition.

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