7 Essential Traits for the Next AI Tech Leaders 

7 Essential Traits for the Next AI Tech Leaders 

As organizations worldwide continue to recognize and adopt AI-powered tools, more and more professionals are recognizing the value of becoming an AI tech leader. Even with the determination to improve along with artificial intelligence, it’s undeniable that you will still meet many competitors in your journey toward success.

To stay ahead of the competition, it is necessary to exert effort to acquire the essential traits for the next AI tech leaders.


The Current AI Landscape 

The artificial intelligence landscape features various cutting-edge tools in the realm of AI, ranging from machine learning (ML) to deep learning and natural language processing (NLP). These tools form the backbone of AI systems. They are the foundation for technology’s ability to learn, adapt, and make intelligent decisions.

It’s undeniable that the AI industry is always developing. As this field undergoes continuous development, with advancements and innovations propelling its dynamic nature, the global AI market is projected to see substantial growth.

In fact, according to research, the global AI’s market size is expected to rise from $454.12 billion dollars in 2022 and reach around $2,575.16 billion in just ten years.¹ This huge growth represents the transformative potential and AI adoption globally.

Read More: The Next Big Thing: AI Takes Over 

This robust industry becomes even more apparent when considering its far-reaching impact on various industries. From healthcare to finance, manufacturing to education, AI leaves a lasting mark in reshaping how businesses operate and society’s function.

This potential is exemplified by a study revealing that 64 percent of businesses anticipate AI to increase productivity within their company.² This statistic highlights the capability of AI to enhance operations and improve efficiency in the working world.

As a leader, your role in this ever-changing environment will involve not only mastering the technical intricacies of AI. It will also require understanding how to tailor its applications to your organization’s unique challenges and opportunities.


Becoming an AI Tech Leader 

Aspiring to become a distinguished AI tech leader demands a multifaceted approach. Beyond acquiring a profound understanding of diverse AI tools and technologies, true leadership in this field extends to cultivating essential traits that would assist you in navigating the AI field.


7 Essential Traits to Have

Positioned as the captain navigating the complexities of AI, the following are indispensable qualities that could be your key to success:


1. Technical Proficiency 

Technical proficiency is a cornerstone for your success in the journey toward AI leadership. Understanding the intricacies of AI tools, algorithms, and frameworks is important since it can significantly affect your decisions and strategic initiatives.

If you want to become a leader, your technical prowess should be your key to navigating the complexities of AI applications and innovations. You must keep up with the changes relevant to your industry.

For example, if you’re in the automation industry, technical skills would allow you to build automated solutions for repetitive tasks. This solves bottlenecks that can lead to dramatic gains in efficiency, productivity, and cost savings. In turn, it would directly impact profit margins.


2. Visionary Thinking 

This trait involves the ability to conceptualize and anticipate future possibilities. In the context of AI, it’s a great trait that can be used to envision emerging technologies and innovative solutions. Visionary thinking entails foreseeing how AI can be leveraged to create transformative solutions, open new opportunities, and address upcoming challenges.

As one of the next leaders in AI, you need to learn how to anticipate trends and envision novel applications even before they gain popularity. For instance, you can make early investments in AI tools and ecosystems. You can also improve your overall processes using the capabilities of AI.

In a rapidly changing tech landscape, this trait helps tech leaders handle current challenges and shape the future of their organizations through foresight and innovation.


3. Strategic Planning 

Strategic planning involves meticulously charting a course for your organization’s AI initiatives. It includes aligning the deployment of AI technologies with your overarching business objectives and long-term goals.

In the dynamic work landscape, strategic planning enables you to navigate the complexities of new technologies. It can help your company leverage AI to achieve milestones previously set. By clearly defining how AI aligns with your long-term vision, you create a roadmap for seamless integration.

You can use AI to enable KPIs strategically. This would create the following benefits.

  • KPIs are easier to understand. This helps your employees collectively decide which metric to prioritize within their teams.
  • Performance metrics are acknowledged by everyone in the company instead of just one team. This makes it 4.3 times easier to optimize work processes and results.
  • AI-enabled KPIs encourage collaboration and information sharing between teams. As a result, professionals can be more agile and responsive to any situation.


4. Agile Thinking 

Agile thinking is your organizational ability to respond quickly to changes within your industry. It is the capacity to adapt swiftly, ensuring your company maintains a competitive edge.

Fostering a culture of flexibility is necessary to become the next leader in AI tech. Agile thinking allows you to swiftly make decisions for your company’s and your stakeholders’ benefit. It’s a skill that becomes particularly useful in crises or new inventions.

Imagine a scenario where a massive new 5G spectrum opens up. Having cultivated agile thinking across IT and product teams, you would be able to envision, prototype, and commercialize multiple new 5G offerings in consumer and industrial verticals ahead of rivals. Here, agile thinking would help you seize first-mover advantages for years of technology refresh cycles.

Read More: Stay Agile, Stay Ahead – Flexibility is Key to Thrive in the Ever-Changing Tech Landscape 


5. Innovative 

Being innovative in AI leadership is about fostering a culture of creative solutions and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. As an agile thinker, the inclination to innovate your plans and solutions naturally follows.

As an innovative executive, you would be able to recognize the immense transformative potential AI technology holds across every industry.

For example, by seeing compelling utility and possibilities, you can strategically scale your business by injecting AI capabilities into enterprise platforms. You can leverage APIs for business unit consumption. By promoting the visibility of possibilities through innovative solutions, you can infect the organization with an AI-first way of thinking.

Read More: From Algorithms to Art – Exploring the Creative Applications of AI 


6. AI-Related Ethical Leadership 

Ethical leadership in AI is your commitment to prioritizing transparency, fairness, and societal impact. It involves avoiding biased algorithms and championing fairness in all aspects of AI development. Embodying ethical leadership is essential to emerge as a leader in AI tech. It ensures your AI applications adhere to high moral standards, gaining trust and respect from fellow AI users and stakeholders.

However, even with all the benefits it brings, the importance of ethical considerations in AI has become more pronounced. In a survey encompassing 1,200 executives spanning 16 business and government sectors, there was a significant increase in executives emphasizing the importance of AI ethics — rising from under 50 percent in 2018 to nearly 75 percent in 2021.³

Considering these numbers, embracing ethical leadership in AI is not just a personal commitment but a strategic imperative for organizational success.


7. Effective Communication 

As an aspiring leader in AI tech, you need to effectively bridge technical intricacies with a broader understanding of your employees. This can only be done using your communication skills.

Effective communication is pivotal in articulating complex technical concepts to your industry’s technical teams and business leaders. It involves crafting clear and concise narratives that highlight the advantages and potential challenges you may face when using AI tech.

For instance, consider humanizing AI to your employees by illustrating how it enhances their work lives. Instead of presenting AI as a cold, complex tech tool, communicating its real-world potential — how it can streamline workflows, eliminate repetitive tasks, and open new avenues for creativity and problem-solving.

This fosters better understanding among your team and positions you with a competitive advantage within your industry.


Risk and Rewards of AI Adoption 

As you strive to be a leader in the AI industry, remember that it’s your responsibility to carefully weigh the risks and rewards of the latest tech strategies.

While AI has the capacity to increase efficiency and boost productivity, it can also open your organization to various threats. To fully realize AI benefits while still safeguarding your company, the following are some actions you can take:

  • Develop an ethics framework to guide AI usage and development.
  • Conduct impact assessments to identify the positive and negative effects of AI on your stakeholders.
  • Invest in cybersecurity measures to help you practice safely implementing AI tech tools.
  • Maintain human oversight and auditing of automated systems and processes.
  • Monitor model performance and tool usage for any inaccuracies, errors, or needed improvements.

With enough planning and governance from you, your company can harness the power of AI and mitigate the dangers it may present. Questions on AI? Reach out to ODG to chat more.



1 Precedence Research. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Market.” Precedence Research, Dec. 2023, www.precedenceresearch.com/artificial-intelligence-market.

2 Haan, Katherine, and Rob Watts. “24 Top AI Statistics And Trends In 2024.” Forbes Advisor, 25 Apr. 2023, www.forbes.com/advisor/business/ai-statistics/#sources_section.

3 Rossi, Francesca, et al. “AI Ethics in Action.” IBM Institute for Business Value, www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/institute-business-value/en-us/report/ai-ethics-in-action, 1 Apr. 2022.

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