Your Queer Career: Queer Leadership, Fabulously Powered by AI

In his latest column, Dr. Steve Yacovelli, (a.k.a. “The Gay Leadership Dude”) shares his expertise on submitted workplace questions from members of the LGBTQ+ Community. Have a question? See below!

Hello “Gay Leadership Dude,” I’m seeing a lot of discussion with the concept of AI. I see some ways it can help me in my regular job but what are your thoughts as it relates to being a more effective queer leader? Can AI help me be more awesome with my team? ~LGBTQ-AI

Such a great and timely question to ask, LGBTQ-AI! In this lovely era of digital transformation, artificial intelligence has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. Our amazing modern workplace isn’t immune to these changes; in fact, AI’s influence is reshaping how we awesome Queer Leaders approach our roles and (hopefully) the strategies we take.

The concept of AI-powered leadership might sound like some fancy-schmancy, sci-fi thingy but honestly if we think about the reality of it, it’s when savvy leaders integrate AI to enhance decision-making and strategize effectively. What Exactly is “AI-powered leadership” and what does it look like?

AI-powered leadership refers to the use of artificial intelligence systems to augment our human leadership qualities and capabilities; or how AI tech can help us leaders be even more effective. This involves leveraging AI tools for data analysis, forecasting, decision-making and personalized team-member engagement, as well as using machine learning to anticipate market trends and workforce needs. AI can also handle routine tasks, freeing us up to focus on more strategic activities that require non-artificial intelligence, aka human, insight.

OK LGBTQ-AI, let’s think about this in your day-to-day. Imagine you’re running a Zoom meeting and you can turn on real-time AI captioning for those participants who have hearing challenges or are translating in their heads. Or that same meeting your AI summarizes what was discussed, so those who missed it can get caught up. Or maybe you jump on your AI tool of choice to see some best ways to handle a difficult conversation you’re about to have. In all three instances you’re leveraging the AI tool to help you be more effective and impactful.

So, as queer leaders our AI goal is to: (1) know how we can use it effectively; and (2) be aware of how AI’s current biases and limitations may get in the way of success. LGBTQ-AI, let’s start with how you can harness the power of AI to be a more effective leader.

The 3 Initial Strategies to Leverage AI for Successful Leadership:

  1. Use AI to Enhance Your Decision Making: Queer Leaders can leverage AI to collect and analyze data to uncover insights that can guide smarter decision-making. For example, LGBTQ-AI, take data analysis from AI to gain insights into team dynamics and individual performance, and identifying areas for growth and development. This enables you to tailor your leadership approaches, ensuring alignment with team members’ strengths and areas for improvement for more insight and impact.
  2. Leverage AI to Enhancing Communication & Collaboration: AI-powered tools facilitate smoother communication and collaboration across teams, breaking down silos and fostering a cohesive workplace culture. We saw some examples earlier (close captioning in real time, notes summary after meetings). Use these to add more value for your teams’ interactions.
  3. Apply AI Tools to Help Mitigate Human Bias: AI can have its own set of biases (we’ll get there in a sec) but leverage it to help make decisions that could otherwise be prone to human unconscious (or conscious) bias. For example, in recruitment, AI can screen candidates based on skills and experiences alone, disregarding hidden biases related to age, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, potentially leading to more diverse teams.
    While AI offers rock star numerous benefits, there are potential drawbacks that we as Queer Leaders need to be mindful of.

The 3 Pitfalls to Avoid in AI-Powered Leadership:

  1. The Over-Reliance on AI: It’s crucial to maintain a balance and not allow AI to overshadow the human element of leadership, such as empathy, ethical considerations, and intuitive judgment. It’s a great tool, but it’s just a tool and not a substitute to your own leadership experience and awesomeness.
  2. The Potential Biases within AI: AI learns from sets of data … made by humans. There’re potential biases built into the tool simply by what information it consumes and learns from; if the data reflects historical inequalities or lacks diversity, the AI’s decisions and insights will be skewed. So, it’s crucial for Queer Leaders to recognize that AI systems can inadvertently perpetuate and amplify biases.
  3. Resistance to Change: Be aware that not everyone may readily accept AI-integrated leadership. Clear communication about the benefits and support during the transition is key. Tell your folks when you’re leveraging AI to help you make decisions and allow them the space to refute the AI’s finding. Frankly (don’t call me “Frank!”) a human collective can be much more effective than your AI bot can be.

As you venture down the AI-powered leadership path, consider these final thoughts:

  • Stay Informed. Artificial intelligence is an ever-evolving thing. Be sure to keep up on the latest AI trends and tools that could impact your leadership style and effectiveness (maybe AI can even help you with this – haha!).
  • Cultivate a Culture of Innovation. While some team members may balk at its usage, encourage a workplace environment that embraces AI and its potential to enhance operations. It’s honestly not going away, but what can we leverage to be more effective as a team?
  • Maintain a Human Touch. Balance AI insights with the invaluable context that can only be provided by a human Leader (see “we love human input!” above).
  • Invest in Training. Equip both yourself and your team with the knowledge and skills to leverage AI tools effectively. Careful prompting (a.k.a. what you ask your AI to give you back) is absolutely vital for AI success, so what training or tools can you share with your team so they can maximize AI as best as the can?
  • Monitor & Adapt. Regularly review the impact of AI on your leadership and be prepared to adapt your strategies for continuous improvement. One prompt to an AI tool won’t make you an expert at something but look at how you’re using the tool and the outcome to manage your performance going forward.

Leadership in the age of AI need not be a crazy anomaly; instead, it signals an exciting evolution in what it means to “lead.” By understanding and leveraging AI responsibly, LGBTQ-AI, you can amplify your impact, craft data-driven strategies, and create a more resilient, adaptable and inclusive workplace. WIN! (Oh, and resistance is futile anyway).

HAVE A QUESTION FOR “THE GAY LEADERSHIP DUDE”? Submit @ Please note the advice shared is for informational use only; it is not intended to replace or substitute any mental, financial, medical, legal or other professional advice. Full disclosure can be found at the website listed above.

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