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Current Issue In Print Leadership Operations The Essentials

The Future of Leadership


According to the 2018 McKinsey Global Institute Workforce Skills Executive Survey, between 2016 and 2030, demand for social and emotional skills will grow across all industries by 26% in the U.S. This includes the club business. 

In 2020, we need to stop calling these skills “soft skills” or “non-cognitive skills,” as this implies they are easy and don’t need to be a priority. Let’s call them “impact skills.”

In our clubs, leadership development must be explored and utilized more than ever to ensure the focus is on impact skills and that the leadership lid of people stays above bots. If you are a manager, you’ll survive if you are an engaging, compassionate and inspiring people leader. 

On the other hand, managers without impact skills will be replaced by robo-bosses who will save the day for the two-thirds of employees who are miserable at work due to poor management.

What is a robo-boss? It’s a manager that runs on code, such as your computer, phone or Alexa, and is capable of doing many tasks and processes that live managers have always done. Don’t believe me? According to Oracle and Future Workplace — a research firm preparing leaders for disruptions in recruiting, development and employee engagement — 93% of workers would trust orders from a robot.  

The future of leadership, however, is not robots or people. Instead, the future of leadership is smarter people because of the collaboration of people and robots, and the use of AI to build our impact skills and empower our employees.

According to the Oracle study, “…while people are ready to embrace AI at work, and understand that the benefits go far beyond automating manual processes, organizations are not doing enough to help their employees embrace AI and that will result in reduced productivity, skillset obsolescence and job loss.” 

AI must have a seat at the table. With the help of AI, employees will become accountable to each other in a flattened club structure. Leaders will become the true coaches and mentors we’ve always wanted. By the end of the new decade, club leaders might even be freed to solve real world problems, like curing disease and solving world hunger.

Derek Deprey

Derek Deprey is the director of people and service at Wisconsin Athletic Club.

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