The well-known author and spiritual authority Amit Ray said recently that as more and more artificial intelligence comes into play in the business environment, we must infuse our corporate leadership skills with corresponding amounts of emotional intelligence. At gap intelligence, we are recognizing more and more the vital role emotional intelligence plays in our business dealings, while at the same acknowledging the benefits in efficiency brought about by automation.

This is a unique time to have grown up, amid movies like The Terminator, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Total Recall, and The Matrix (just to name a few). All were films set in the future, and all contained a vision of artificial intelligence and how it could disrupt, shape, and ultimately destroy humanity. These movies painted a picture of seemingly distant worlds that we could never imagine experiencing in our lifetime.

Cut to 2020, and the future is here—”Forrester forecasts that cognitive technologies such as robots, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation will replace 7% of US jobs by 2025.”

Are Machines Better Than Humans?

What does this mean for those who don’t want to get left behind in their respective industry? According to the Harvard Business Review: “There are just a lot of things that machines can do better than human beings, and we shouldn’t be too proud to admit it. Many skilled jobs follow the same general workflow”. AI now has the capability to not only gather, analyze, and interpret data, but also to develop an action plan to implement a solution.

At first, this seems rather alarming…what can’t machines do that humans can? The answer is simple: understanding, motivating, and interacting with humans. This is where the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) comes in. Leaders who have the ability to empathize, inspire, and develop meaningful relationships with their people, in other words, leaders with emotional intelligence, will begin to differentiate themselves in a constantly evolving and uncertain world.

Look at what is going on in the world now—millions of people out of work, an economy spiraling out of control, and fear dominating the news and people’s psyches. We need leaders who possess strong emotional intelligence capabilities and who we trust to navigate us to safer waters with a plan and a vision. We are fortunate at gap intelligence to have a CEO who has already mapped out and shared his vision:

“We’re automating what we can deliver efficiently and maintaining the manual processes needed for new offerings. That strategic combination has helped us scale while remaining flexible.”

I think this excerpt from the Vision statement (that we drafted last November at the annual kickoff) illustrates how gap intelligence embraces the benefits of efficiency, derived from automation, while recognizing the limitations of automation. Our clients trust us because we deliver GFD (Great Freakin’ Data), and also because gappers can proactively assess their clients’ needs and offer them thoughtful insights and guidance….capabilities that the machines do not possess.

Elements of Emotional Intelligence

Effective leaders understand that emotional intelligence has four different components:

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Self Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Management

No one is born blessed with all these components equally and completely. It takes work and dedication to self-reflect and recognize your shortcomings when it comes to identifying and understanding your own emotions. What can be even more difficult, once these are identified, is managing these emotions and having the resilience to bounce back after a setback (because there will always be setbacks).

According to Simon Sinek:

“Empathy—the ability to recognize and share other people’s feelings—is the most important instrument in a leader’s toolbox. The daily practice of putting the well-being of others first has a compounding and reciprocal effect in relationships, in friendships, in the way we treat our clients and our colleagues.”

4 Components of EQ

I feel confident that gap intelligence will be able to weather the tumultuous storm building at this very moment in history as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re fortunate to have a leader who is committed to living our values every day and who inspires the rest of us toward a common vision. Our vision will help to shield us from many of the economic consequences of the pandemic’s global upheaval. And once the dust settles and things assume some semblance of normality, our vision will help us adapt to the technological advances that are inevitably coming. We will be successful going forward because we will adopt new technologies while recognizing that our EQ capabilities are what differentiates ourselves from the mere machines.

Do you have what it take to be a gapper? We’re hiring. Head to our culture section to learn more about open positions. We’re conducting phone interviews as we work towards flattening the curve. Stay safe and healthy. We’re all in this together.