Defining Intelligence: Do we need to be the smartest person in the room to succeed?

The first step to answering that question would be to define what being smart means, which is a complex task.

“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein, considered a genius, knew that “being smart” depends a lot on the context. Many can say this is an opinion, a very informed and knowledgeable one, but still just an opinion.

We also have Lewis Terman and his Termites. He was a psychologist from Stanford University and a pioneer of the I.Q. test. He started a study of high I.Q. kids named The Termites, thinking that this measure would be one of the key drivers of success.

As it turns out, a high Intelligence Quotient is not necessarily correlated to career success. And this gets even more complicated because career success will mean something different for everyone.

There are opinions and also data that prove that a high I.Q. or being “conventionally” smart is not the key to success. Yet, society still gives a lot of value to people that can mentally solve complex equations or calculations. We are impressed when we are in front of people whose brains seem to be working at a higher than normal rate. Most universities and companies still rely on standardized tests that are designed mainly to test for Intelligence Quotient and hard skills.

What is going on then? Is Society Insane?

We know that I.Q. and conventional measures of “intelligence” are not the key to top performance, yet we still keep using those metrics as a guide.

Sounds a lot like the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result), according to the genius we were talking about earlier in the post.

Understanding the variables needed for top performance and finding a way to recreate that process is still a mystery. Many, like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss, dedicate their life to deconstructing and studying top performers with the goal of being able to understand and reproduce those results.

Yet, there is still no clear path which is why many universities and companies struggle to find and attract top talent.

Fortunately, there is a new trend developing. Emotional Intelligence has been emerging as a new key component of success and top performance.

Recently we conducted an Independent Research Study at Bauer, where we found and analyzed interesting data related to top performance in a professional setting. The conclusions point to a very interesting direction.

We understood what we need to do, as individuals and professionals, if we want to perform at our best and create as much value as possible for the organizations we are part of.

In the nex article, I want to share with you some of the conclusions we made after conducting the study and an interesting opinion on this topic from a 197 IQ person.

Learning and sharing knowledge are my passions, let’s connect if those are yours too.

Alejandro I. Sanoja