April 17


ChatGPT: Novelty or Legitimate Leadership Tool?

By Sara Canaday

April 17, 2023

career success, leadership skills, professional development

Let me start by saying this: Leadership is absolutely a human-centered activity. I don’t believe machine learning can or should ever replace personal communications between human beings. Are the advances being made in artificial intelligence (AI) downright remarkable? Yes! But computers still can’t capture the nuances of our language with the ability to make genuine connections that translate into relationships. Likewise, relying solely on AI would rob leaders of the insights that emerge through the process of developing and refining their communications and decision-making skills.

With that said, I’m fiercely committed to finding ways for leaders to save time and relieve some of the pressures they are facing. ChatGPT—the artificial intelligence chat bot—just might have a place in doing that. Despite the mixed reviews, I wanted to give it a try. I’ve used the model for the last month or so, and I’ve come away with some interesting observations about what it can and can’t do.

  • It can’t make decisions for you. But it can quickly do background research and gather information that will give you an enormous head-start on the decision-making process.
  • It can’t solve your strategic problems. But it can analyze data, provide insights, review trends and patterns, and suggest possible alternatives.
  • It can’t foster a sense of teamwork and build morale. But it can act as a support tool for collaboration, operating as a virtual assistant to provide team updates, alerts, and reminders.
  • It’s limited in it’s ability to create highly engaging and emotional material that can influence employee or buyer behavior. But it does a surprisingly good job of creating draft content for things like emails, presentations, PowerPoint decks, reports, and blog posts.  

The point here? ChatGPT may be able to accelerate many time consuming leadership tasks and can be used for almost-instant feedback to help jump-start a leader’s work.

Naturally, there are some legitimate concerns about possible inaccuracies and baked-in bias. Professionals still need to evaluate ChatGPT results through the lens of their own expertise and, frankly, common sense. But as long as leaders use the output of ChatGPT as starting points rather than ending points, the efficiencies gained could be striking.

Have you used ChatGPT for professional or personal purposes? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Until next time,

Sara Canaday

About the author

Sara began her journey working full-time while she earned an MBA. As she climbed the ladder of corporate America, she repeatedly observed a surprising phenomenon: the most successful people weren’t necessarily the ones with the highest IQ or best job skills. She recognized instead that career advancement was much more closely linked with how people applied their knowledge and talents — their capacity to collaborate, communicate, and influence others.

Today, Sara is happily fulfilling that commitment as a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach. These venues have given her the opportunity to mentor and support thousands of people in diverse situations, inspiring many of them to move from insight to action with dramatic career results.

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