Leadership by Algorithm: Who Leads and Who Follows in the AI Era

Leadership by Algorithm: Who Leads and Who Follows in the AI Era?

By: David De Cremer

Reviewed by: Shelby Gobbo

The Premise:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is sometimes seen as the hero, and sometimes viewed as the villain. Regardless of how you view it, AI is continually emerging into the workplace. David De Cremer takes the opportunity in this book to delve into different views of AI and how this will affect the work place and effect how we work. For many, the belief is that AI will bring a significant amount of redundancies, for others, AI symbolizes a new era of incredible efficiencies, which will create a new wave of opportunities. Cremer digs into the areas where AI and human capital already collide, and are set to collide. As he illustrates not only these ideas, but facts, he gives his opinion of what the likely outcome of these AI and ‘human’ collisions could look like.

The Bottom-line:

The title of this book immediately intrigued me, especially in a time where it feels like our relationship with AI has accelerated tenfold. In person meetings do not exist at the moment, and talking into the waves of Zoom or Microsoft Teams has replaced the boardroom. This has changed the way we work and changed the way we need to lead. One of his biggest questions that he asks and addresses throughout the book is who will lead? Will it be humans, will it be machines? One question that sparks a lot of attention throughout the book is whether or not your next boss will be a robot. Human qualities are what make leaders and often we define good leaders in terms of qualities and behaviours. Humans have emotional intelligence, something that AI does not possess…at least not yet.

De Cremer pulls insights and research from leaders around the globe and peppers their feedback throughout the book amongst the facts and stats on advances in AI. These insights and findings share that thought leaders all around the world see the challenges that an automated work environment poses and how that can be incredibility challenging for the future of organizations. Finally De Cremer shares some known, and some surprising struggles that exist and are growing between humans and AI. There is a new power struggle that is emerging. Leadership by Algorithm wraps by sharing the qualities needed in a leader, in leaders, that can help to manage this growing power struggle.


I recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in the future of work, and is curious to know what that may look like – from the eyes of AI.