Intelligence quotients—or IQs—are often used as a simple method to judge our general intelligence. However, given that a high IQ is purely the result of your genes, it might seem a little unfair that someone with a lower IQ doesn’t have the same advantages. But the big question is—do you actually need a high IQ to succeed? And, does an excellent score guarantee your career success?
The short answer is simple enough: no. A high IQ is an incredible advantage, of course, but other traits are far more important. We’re going to take a look at some of the characteristics that could define your success in a way that is far more dramatic than being born with a high IQ. Let’s take a closer look.
The school of hard knocks. First of all, a lot of successful business people have got to where they are today just by being street smart. Having a high IQ doesn’t mean you can hustle, haggle, or strike a deal – the kind of street smarts that can propel an ordinary career into a hugely successful one. Common sense is important, too. While a high IQ means you can reason, solve problems, and process information, it doesn’t necessarily say that you have the common sense to take the right course of action.
People skills. Some of the smartest individuals in the world fail at business because they cannot talk to other people, and lack the skills needed to lead, motivate, befriend, and everything else you need to do to run a successful company. Even unusually gifted people often have trouble dealing with other people—and some experts liken it to having a disability.
Emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence—or EQ—is often thought of to be much more important than IQ. According to BlueEQ, people with high emotional intelligence will beat those with a high IQ 75 percent of the time when it comes to getting a job or achieving a key promotion. Again, there is a link to social skills to consider, as EQ allows you to judge relationships, communicate, and be aware of how others see you.
Hard work. Ultimately, a high IQ can give you a great start to life. You will excel early on at school, and everything will come naturally to you. However, when it gets to the point where you have to start working, problems can arise. There are many examples of high-performing kids failing as soon as things get a little tougher. They develop lazy habits, simple because they aren’t challenged as youngsters, and end up lacking the hard work ethic that all successful business owners share.
Passion. Finally, a high IQ can only take you so far in your life. It‘s passion and drive that will push you onto achieve great things and get the career you deserve. Having that drive towards success can often make up for knowledge gaps, and if you don’t have a passion for your job, it will often lead to you not achieving your goals.
Photo by David Dayer