Conference sneak preview, General

Leadership in the Age of AI: A Workshop You Cannot Miss!

The Context

Being a Leader in today’s day and age is terrifying and exciting in equal parts. So much is changing so fast, and AI is showing us its undeniable potential to reshape industries and change how we work. With the alarm bells ringing about jobs disappearing and AI taking over work, Leaders are worried about managing these changes, and also about the implications on their own roles. You won’t be alone if you harbour a secret worry that you’ll soon be a leader of robots and AI, or that you as a leader may become obsolete.  

Even as I write this today (and yes, I am writing this myself as a human who finds joy in writing), many things will have evolved by the time you read it. This is because we are in a state of frenzy right now: Everyone feels the pressure to understand AI, to do something with it, to figure it out.

Before we dive deeper, let me first express my very strong belief that human beings will never become obsolete. We are the ‘main characters’ so to speak. And whether it was the steam engine, cars, TVs, computers, or smartphones, we used the technologies to shift what we do, and how we do things, rather than become superfluous. While AI can collect vast amounts of information, process it at unprecedented speeds and even learn, it is a tool, or at most a ‘wingman’ to augment human endeavor. What we do, and how we do it may change dramatically, and in that process, we will start to yet again redefine and reimagine what ‘work’ looks like.

Should I worry about my job as a leader?

The world of work is changing. “We’re operating in a world where work is no longer defined by jobs, the workplace is no longer a specific place, many workers are no longer traditional employees and human resources is no longer a siloed function.” Deloitte 2024 Global Human Capital Trends. This is happening at a different pace for different industries, but eventually, it will hit everyone.

As we start to reimagine who we are and how we work, and as organizations grapple with all the challenges coming their way, leadership, particularly effective leadership is going to be more critical than ever.  

AI brings information and insights, it brings automation, efficiency and speed, but it lacks the intrinsic qualities that define effective leadership. Leaders bring context and connection. They bring that richness and ‘umami’ that humans need to build belongingness and relevance which nurtures meaning and purpose.

Leaders actually play a very critical role as we move forward in this era of ‘thinking machines’.

How will my role as a Leader change?

Now more than ever, as a leader, your people need you. In the near future, the role of leadership is critical to help their teams navigate the shifting landscape of work and the implications it has on the business as well as the corresponding changes to skills and tasks.

At a practical level, Leaders have to be in the thick of the action to help their teams learn and adapt to AI. This means doing many or all of the following activities:

  • Commit to learning alongside your teams:
    • Start to learn more about AI (in case you have been trying to avoid it).
    • Get comfortable with AI (yes, roll up your sleeves and try it out yourself!).
  • Create safe spaces:
    • Discuss concerns and fears around AI and its implications openly and make it safe for others to share their thoughts.
    • Hold space for experts and explorers in your teams/organizations to test and learn from fails.
  • Participate actively:
    • Become involved in the decision-making and governance of how AI will be utilized in your organizations.

Leaders also need to take a good look at themselves and identify the areas they need to work on. Generative AI will expose issues that may have been ignored or hidden to date, and the pervasiveness of poor leadership ranks among the top issues in many organizations.

As a leader, you need to increase your investment in enhancing your soft-skills, or rather, shall we call them ‘power skills’. These are rooted in emotional intelligence, critical thinking, complex problem solving, and building followership so that you can engage and motivate your teams/organizations.

We live in interesting times, frequently that makes us feel paralyzed into standing still and hoping everything will blow over. Nobody has all the answers. Particularly since AI is evolving at unprecedented speeds. So yes, you will make mistakes, you will sometimes make a mess, you will take a wrong turn, but you have to keep moving. If you don’t move, if you don’t try, if you don’t learn by failing, then you will become obsolete.

“You can’t bake a cake without getting the kitchen messy. Halfway through a surgery, it looks like there’s been a murder in the operating room. If you send a rocket to the moon, about ninety per cent of the time it’s off course – it ‘fails’ its way to the moon by continuously making mistakes and correcting them.” Price Pritchett

Bottom line

For many organizations, it is still unclear how they want to harness the power of Gen AI. There are glaring skills gaps to consider as well as a lack of clarity on which ones are actually required for the future of that organization.

So, you still have some time, right?


Now is the time to prepare. It’s time for you to shift from being observers to active participants and to accelerate your own learning trajectory. So how can you prepare yourself to step up your leadership skills to thrive and excel in this new age?

The good news is that you don’t have to become a Generative AI expert. Phew.

But you do need to step up like never before. Dig into understanding the essentials of what your role as a leader entails, what mental shifts you need to make, and what human-centred skills you need to boost.

Join us in Rwanda on May 29th to continue this discussion and explore the implications.

If you are attending the eLearning Africa Conference in Rwanda in the last week of May 2024, you can sign up to the full day workshop to continue this discussion and focus on the requirements of a human-centred leadership approach to navigate in the age of AI.

Register here.

The Leadership in the Age of AI workshop is your opportunity to discuss the impact of AI with other leaders, work through the mind shifts required to emerge as a leader ready to steer their teams or the organization, and start building a personal roadmap of your learning trajectory so that you continue to evolve and align yourself in the ever-changing landscape of AI.

The Leadership in the Age of AI workshop is a key component of the LEARNING LEADERS 3.0 Program. This is a leadership program for senior education leaders that offers a holistic approach into the mindset of what it takes to become a practical yet futuristic education leader. Traditional leadership programs tend to focus externally on how to effectively manage others and deal with situations without factoring in the leader’s internal beliefs, motivations and capabilities. This program introduces a framework that challenges leaders to look outward and inward so that they can unlock the value of human contribution in this new age of AI.

If you are interested in learning more about the Learning Leaders 3.0 Program, email

About the Author

Ferhana Dostmohamed is an experienced Learning & Development leader with 20+ years in designing and developing organizational learning content and implementing learning technologies. She presents on key topics related to Learning Design, Leadership and Personal Effectiveness. She also works with experts and thought leaders in the education space, advocating for the redesign of our education systems to reflect the changing needs of individuals and societies.

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Who should Attend:

  • Educators and Academic Professionals
  • HR Managers
  • Entrepreneurs/Small Business Owners
  • Product/ IP Ownes

Don’t miss this opportunity to level up your training game!

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