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The AI-Enabled Human Leader

Artificial intelligence will dramatically change how we work. But it won’t change how we lead. As the AI revolution progresses, and employees experience a mix of acceptance, fear, excitement, and distrust, the best leaders will embrace the technology and master the core qualities of human leadership.

Read Our Latest in HBR

The AI-Enabled Human Leader

Embrace AI and
double down on human

Artificial intelligence (AI) will soon surpass human ability in many areas of leadership. Our research indicates that employees already have more confidence in AI than in their human bosses in certain areas of leadership, like strategy and performance management.

For all its promise though, AI has its limitations, particularly in the more human, emotional parts of work that require care, transparency, and courageous conversations. Despite the complexity and messiness of human interactions, employees still value them.

The best leaders of today—and tomorrow—find a balance in their practice that embraces AI and its many strengths while also doubling down on their very human qualities as leaders.

Embrace AI—But Develop Human Qualities

The field of AI vs. human activities: On the one hand you can consider the extent to which you can leverage AI. On the other hand, you can consider the extent to which you should leverage your humanness.

Potential Project Latest Research

Potential Project
Latest Research

We surveyed over 600 employees across multiple industries to understand their views on artificial intelligence and leadership. Comfort levels are on the rise with AI, but employees still want and value human-centered leaders.

We found high levels of confidence in AI when it comes to strategy and decision-making. 65% of respondents were “somewhat” to “completely confident” in AI’s ability to develop a strategy.  

And, respondents reported being comfortable with AI playing a role in analyzing their performance and optimizing actions and decisions. 43% “agree” or “strongly agree”, and 23% are “neutral” on this topic.

Somewhat surprisingly, 45% of respondents indicated that they are “somewhat" to "extremely" comfortable getting AI-driven performance feedback, as long as it is positive feedback.

But, when it comes to receiving negative performance feedback, only 25% of respondents would be “somewhat" to "extremely" comfortable receiving negative feedback on job performance if it was generated by AI. 55% would be “somewhat" to "extremely" uncomfortable.  

Go Deeper on the Topic

The Best Leaders Can’t
Be Replaced by AI

Despite the complexity and messiness of human interactions, employees still value them over AI’s promise. This, of course, doesn’t mean we should shun AI and its many performance benefits. Instead, the best leaders of today — and tomorrow — find a balance in their practice that embraces AI and its many strengths while also doubling down on their very human qualities as leaders.  

Do you believe that leaders have qualities that AI cannot emulate? Or do you think that leaders will sooner or later be replaced?  

Read our Harvard Business Review article to explore more on this thought-provoking topic.

The Mantras of Compassionate Leadership

Each chapter of the book is based on an important mantra used to help cultivate wise compassionate leadership. As a companion guide to the new book, we offer a series of Mantra Worksheets that are available for download.

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The AI-Enabled Human Leader

Pressure is on leaders to move quickly and smartly as the scope and applicability of artificial intelligence grow exponentially, At the same time, historically low levels of trust in leaders and external environments rocked by conflict and division mean employees are looking for leaders to be authentic, transparent, compassionate. How to move forward in an AI-enabled future?

In this keynote, we share results from Potential Project’s recent research on when and how best to embrace AI, and we share provocative insights on when leaders need to double down on becoming more human leaders. There is a way to do both and the opportunity is now. Let’s get started.

  • For: 20-30 Executives
  • Duration: 45-60 minutes

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Navigating AI Transformations

The hard part is not the technology. We will all master artificial intelligence in short order as it relates to our lives and jobs. The hard part, as it almost always is, is getting people to move in new directions. We humans are wired to hate change. It makes us feel uncomfortable at best and at worst threatened or afraid. When we understand how our minds typically respond to change, we can then turn default reactions into something more positive and productive.  

Our experts and experienced facilitators guide a senior team through the journey of leading an AI implementation. Through research and guided practices, the group learns the leadership mindsets that transform resistance to acceptance, that transform fear and failure to acceptance and real results.

  • For: Intact or cross-functional senior team
  • Duration: From 1 to 4 sessions, 60-minutes each
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Thank you so much for your time. I hope you could see the level of interest and engagement the team has as it relates to compassionate leadership and your research.  They definitely wished we were spending multiple hours on this topic!

Francine Katsoudas, Chief Human Resources Officer, Cisco