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Timeless Principle #9 – Just How Smart Are You?

We’re nearly finished going through our simple (but not simplistic) principles every manager needs to know. As a review, let’s review the first eight principles: 

1. Quit focusing on the outward appearance and concentrate on what’s on the inside 

2. Be a good listener 

3. Put Yourself in Your Employees’ Shoes  

4. Be humble – nobody is good enough to be arrogant!  

5. Allow people to have some autonomy – don’t micromanage them  

6. It’s Not Always About the Money  

7. Ranting, raving, yelling, and screaming at employees won’t motivate them. They’ll actually think you look stupid and immature.  

8. Understand your employees have outside concerns. They can’t just turn off their personal lives at work.   

Our ninth principle focuses on intelligence, and I’m not talking about working only with smart people. If we’re going to be effective managers and great leaders, we have to look at developing a new type of intelligence – Emotional Intelligence 

People are emotional beings. Deal with them accordingly. In a recent Gallup Poll study, data was crunched from 25 years of interviews of 1 million workers across various sectors. Gallup found the single most important variable in employee productivity and loyalty is the quality of the relationship between employee and their direct supervisor. We’re not talking about familiarity here either – this means a supervisor who really cares.  

In another study, Researchers at Harvard took a cross section of graduates from law, medicine and business and followed them for 30 years to identify indicators of success. For the purpose of the study, “Success” was defined by professional achievement in their prospective fields as well as stability in key relationships. The objective was to look at those who were most successful and determine what it was about them that could have predicted their success. Here is what they found: IQ was only about 8-9% of a predictor of success. In fact, at the highest levels of IQ, there was a negative correlation to future success. Technical skills contributed about the same – only 8-9% of future success could be attributed to them. The winner in this study was Emotional Intelligence which accounted for more than twice IQ & technical skills combined in determining who would be successful!  

This really shouldn’t be a surprise though. After all, if people are emotional beings, Emotional Intelligence will outplay a prestigious management degree every time. The great news is we can start working this process now! IQ is relatively fixed – that is, at age 16 our levels of IQ become fairly concrete, BUT Emotional Intelligence can be learned and improved at any age.   

I’ll give you some strategies later, but for today, let’s agree to view our employees as emotional beings and consider ways to connect with them at that level. 

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