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Will the Brain Based Leader Please Take a Bow

I read an article, Brain-Based Leading… today… in Notre Dame Business Notre Dam Bus Mag.jpgMagazine, where Elizabeth Station wrote…”Some years ago, a prominent politician delighted “C” students at Yale with the assertion that “you, too, can be President of the .” He wasn’t the first to suggest that traditional measures of intelligence don’t always predict leadership success.”

What a brilliant reminder that intelligence is not fixed and fate is not set against your success…. So who’s smart and who’s not? Thanks Elizabeth... I wish we could chat more over lunch…. That is a topic I addressed in detail a few years ago in a series I was invited to write for the Canadian Mensa Magazine. It holds the potential to change lives because it factors in more reality than myth about your brain….

Elizabeth Station showed images for change… from recent research by Management Professor Amy E. Colbert ... which pointed out “the relationship between intelligence and leadership is considerably lower than previously thought.” She added that …  “Colbert and two colleagues reviewed 151 independent studies that probed the intelligence-leadership connection, finding only a moderate link between the two.

When others’ perceptions rather than “pencil-and-paper” tools were used to measure intelligence, the authors found a stronger correlation to leadership. In other words, appearing smart may have a greater impact on perceptions of leadership ability than being smart.”

Then Elizabeth Station throws in a ringer question for renewal … “So if brains aren’t paramount, what qualities do matter most?” She then quotes one response from Colbert who said, said: “There’s a constellation of traits that make a leader.”

Wow – what a question to help us to think bigger, to fit the exciting news… that  we now know about the brain…. Thanks Elizabeth … I plan to blog a series of responses to that brilliant question at the Brain Based Business site. I hope you will join the conversation and help us get to the gems as we mine your wonderful insights on this one.

3 Comments/Trackbacks

» If Brains Aren't Paramount... What Matters Most for Leaders? from BrainBasedBusiness
“Leaders are usually extroverted, conscientious, open and emotionally stable, according to previous research. Intelligence is important when combined with attributes like motivation, persistence and dominance….” That’s accordin... [Read More]

Ellen, I'm wondering how traits connect to the brain. I'm sure they are seated in intrapersonaland interpersonal intelligences but somehow as I read this, they are separated from connections to the brain. What are your thoughts?


Good question, Robyn and certainly it begs more links between many ways of knowning and practicing leadership.... Come to think of it -- that might be another blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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