Human beings are complex integrated systems. It is hard to define them by some theoretical calculations as hard as it is to quantify demanding processor’s unquantifiable actions. Nevertheless I teach my students two measures commonly used to explain humans and their roles in leadership.
IQ (intelligence quotient) is representing a person’s reasoning ability (measured using problem-solving tests) calculated by a mathematical formula that is supposed to be a measure of a person’s intelligence. The quotient is traditionally derived by dividing an individual’s mental age by his chronological age and then multiplied by 100 (thus IQ = MA/CA x 100) to get the statistical norm or average taken as 100. The most direct ancestor of today’s intelligence tests was developed by Alfred Binet. He did it due to a request of an education commission in France in order to distinguish some intellectually impaired children from other intellectually normal ones. Later on Binet’s intelligence test was revised extensively to get the today’s version of IQ by Lewis Terman.
EQ (emotional intelligence) is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them. It is a combination of: Self-awareness – the ability to recognize an emotion as it happens; Self-regulation – having a control when one experiences emotions; Motivation – one achievement that requires clear goals and a positive attitude; Empathy – the ability to recognize how people feel which is important to success in your life and career; Social skills – the development of good interpersonal skills which is as well tantamount to success in your life and career.
Although, IQ and EQ are nothing more than simplified acronyms, I use them to show that great scientist (having high IQ) is very rarely a good leader. Why is it so? A scientist has to be very self-centric, studious, normally a person that has problems interacting with others. On the other hand, an altruistic person that helps others (having high EQ) is the opposite of a scientist. And again, he is not someone that would have good characteristics for leadership role as he is normally too soft and tends to bend to the pressure of others. EQ got the international fame with Daniel Goleman‘s 1995 book ‘Emotional Intelligence‘. The early EQ theory was coined originally during the 1970s by the work and writings of Harvard psychologists Howard Gardner, Peter Salovey from Yale and John ‘Jack’ Mayer from New Hampshire.
Therefore, a judge how well you do in your life and career is determined by both. IQ alone is not enough; EQ also matters a lot. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success, IQ counts for roughly 10% (at best 25%); the rest depends on everything else — including EQ. And this is what I teach my students: “It is not abscise where IQ lies and it is not ordinate where EQ lies. It is rather a diagonal that embraces both potentialities”.
The crucial matter in leadership is the consideration of finding a proper mixture of EQ and/or IQ substances to achieve correct methods/processes to deliver results. Obviously, IQ will allow you to get the job and also do the job you’ve been employed to do. And EQ is more about how you successfully perform the job and how you interact with others to get the job done. Who knows better how to lead others than a person who understands the feelings of others? I know plenty of “EQ-less” leaders or managers who are clueless on how to treat anyone because they live in their own dictatorship-type, self-centered world or by rules (methods) they’ve learned and are applying.