5 predictors of individual success more meaningful than IQ, skills or education

Summary:The type of people who will thrive in today's fast-changing and uncertain economy likely to have higher emotional quotients (EQs), not necessarily IQs.

Are educational credentials, skills and proficiency the best predictors of success? Maybe, maybe not.

In a recent article at Financial Post, Ray Williams makes the case that employers are better off looking for employees with a high emotional quotient (EQ) than intelligence quotient (IQ). In other words, people who know how to get along and are adaptable to changing situations.

It may seem like a page out of hiring 101, but Williams says organizations often overlook this quality, preferring to view instead either education or  skills as predictors of success.  Or, there's that revered model of a hard-charging, take-no-prisoners self-starter. But how would organizations fare if they brought a Steve Jobs into their ranks? (Visionary but abrasive.)  Probably not too well, Williams points out. 

Williams offers documented studies that describe the qualities that form EQ, and how employers have been able to capitalize on pursuing such qualities. In one study, the U.S. Air Force "found that the most successful recruiters scored significantly higher on the emotional intelligence competencies of empathy and self-awareness." In addition, another study found that executive retention increased significantly when emotional competencies were added into the hiring or promotion mix.

According to Leadership Resources and Consulting, the five key attributes of EQ include self-awareness, self regulation, motivation, social skills and empathy.

So, what does this have to do with success in business? Williams wraps up his piece with this thought: the qualities most likely to succeed in today's fast-changing economy -- in which people will likely go through multiple career changes as they adapt -- are based on EQ. Pride, personal accomplishment, professional networks will go a long way, versus just skills alone.

(Thumbnail photo: HubSpot.)

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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