Artificial Intelligence, or “AI,” is becoming an increasingly common theme in our everyday lives. As I type this, “AI” auto-corrects misspelled words for me and even provides me suggestions on how to complete my sentence. Even new cars have AI technology to prevent collisions. Many tasks previously done by humans are being taken over by AI guided robots.
What does this mean for the future of leadership? How does AI affect leadership? Surely, robots won’t require human management, but the organization will still need leadership skill that AI is not currently able to provide. These include vision, empathy, creativity, collaboration, and focus. Let’s look at DISC styles and leadership through these lenses to see how our leadership will adapt to AI.
Where they beat AI: The “D” style thinks about the big picture, so even as AI use grows, the Dominant leader should focus on creating the vision for their organization. They can also help with focus since they are “bottom-line” people. This ability to set priorities, give clear direction, and drive results gives them an advantage over machines.
Where AI will challenge them: With billions of data points out there, the “D” style will have to pay more attention to details that go along with the vision. No longer can they plead ignorance of data patterns and conclusions. They will also benefit from strengthening their empathy and collaboration skills to be an effective leader as AI application expands.
Where they beat AI: The “I” style enjoys being the star of the show and life of the party. Their fun energy is contagious. The two leadership qualities of collaboration and creativity are where the “I” style can outperform any computer. While they don’t like confrontation, their enthusiasm will motivate teams to work together on the tasks at hand. Creativity is also one of their strengths, so as long as they have the opportunity to express their ideas, they will add immense value.
Where AI will challenge them: As more organizations implement AI, they will naturally become more rigid and uniform in how they operate. The “I” style craves freedom from strict rules and may feel stifled. They will need to pivot to focus on keeping the team engaged and applying their creativity on human issues not addressed by software solutions.
Where they beat AI: Artificial intelligence provides dependable levels of work that may have previously been done by humans. The “S” style is a reliable worker who strives to see everything through to completion. While some of their tasks may be taken over by AI, their leadership qualities of empathy and collaboration will keep them ahead of the game. As project teams become more geographically dispersed, having a Steady leader will let members feel heard and stay engaged in the project.
Where AI will challenge them: The speed of change has been increasing as more is taken over by computer intelligence. The “S” style likes routine and predictability. They will need to flex their comfort level with making quick adjustments, and make sure they take care of their own needs during stressful times.
Where they beat AI: This style brings attention to detail and analytical thinking to their team. As a leader, they can quickly think through the details and provide a realistic picture of the situation. This is a base for their creative problem solving, which the AI cannot fully replicate. They can also provide leadership focus, as they seek process and standards for predictability.
Where AI will challenge them: The “C” style can be somewhat addicted to data analysis and digging into spreadsheets. With AI, this is no longer needed. Any data-related functions are speeding toward full automation, including drawing conclusions. Without a need to be social, this style will benefit from flexing to become more empathetic and collaborative in order to strengthen relationships with co-workers.
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