Growing up, we are taught that our future success is tightly bound to how intelligent we are. We have a natural assumption that the more intelligent we are, the higher our IQ, the better we will do in life.
However, Keld Jensen in his article “Intelligence is Overrated: What You Really Need to Succeed” on Forbes.com, asserts that this assumption is false.
IQ Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
“Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge.” IQ tests measure your technical intelligence and reasoning ability, but a high IQ doesn’t necessarily mean you have the non-technical skills necessary to succeed. Your EQ (emotional intelligence), MQ (moral intelligence), and BQ (body intelligence) are much more important than a high IQ.
EQ, MQ, and BQ: What Are They and How Can You Improve Them?
Developing emotional intelligence is a topic we stress a lot on our own blog, but, “The most basic definition of Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to monitor one’s own and other’s emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the resulting information to guide one’s thinking and actions”.[i]
Increased self-awareness and effective stress management, according to Jensen, are the two top tips for improving your EQ. If you’re interested in more about how to improve your EI, check out our related posts below.
Jensen suggests the MQ (moral intelligence) naturally flows from EQ because MQ , “deals with your integrity, responsibility, sympathy, and forgiveness… Keeping commitments, maintaining your integrity, and being honest are crucial to moral intelligence.” To improve your MQ, take responsibility for your actions and cut out the excuses and white lies.
The last factor Jensen focuses on is BQ (body intelligence) which he defines as, “what you know about your body, how you feel about it, and take care of it.” You may find yourself wondering how your body’s health can affect your business success, “but your body intelligence absolutely affects your work because it largely determines your feelings, thoughts, self-confidence, state of mind, and energy level.”
His tips for improving your BQ may seem intuitive, exercise, adequate rest, and good nutrition, but he also suggests you take a couple minutes out of your day to pay attention to all the things your body is telling you.
Don’t Let IQ Stand in Your Way
No one is saying that technical knowledge and education aren’t important, or that they don’t impact your future success, but you don’t have to be doomed to a life of mediocrity if you weren’t the valedictorian at Harvard. By actively cultivating your EQ,MQ, and BQ you can give yourself the non-technical skills that are necessary to succeed.
[i] Borysenko, Joan. “Minding the Body, Mending the Mind”, Da Capo Press, 2007.