The Next Level of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders

buzz from Diane C. Yu, Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President NYU

"I applaud this provocative, insightful, and perceptive addition to the literature on leadership. It provides an impressive range of thoughtful perspectives and specific strategies from which all concerned leaders, instructors, and students of leadership will benefit."

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IQ vs. Self Discipline – What makes you smarter in the long run?

“We found that self-discipline predicted academic performance more robustly than did IQ. Self-discipline also predicted which students would improve their grades over the course of the school year, whereas IQ did not.”

Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents.  Angela L. Duckworth and Martin E.P. Seligman.  Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania.  2005.

And, it is not just about adolescents!  William Henderson, a law professor at Indiana University has found that:

“In 2007 and 2008, 46 percent of all new associates in the nation’s 100 largest law firms came from a top 14 law school. But during the same period, only 39 percent of lawyers promoted to partner came from one of the top 14.

The numbers are similar in the nation’s largest companies. In 2009, only 35 percent of general counsels for Fortune 500 companies had graduated from a top 14 school. “This suggests that the advantage of higher test scores and academic pedigree diminishes rather than compounds over time—at least for partnership or general counsel positions,” he says.”

Both of these studies show that our traditional ways of measuring intelligence don’t work.  We have to understand success in today’s terms…it is not about what you know or how well you know it, it is about what you do with what you know and how hard you work at it.

Those who exercise their will to succeed will succeed far greater than those who are judged as intelligent by our traditional (outmoded) means of measuring intelligence.  We cannot reach for that next level of success – that next level of intelligence that is waiting for us – by using the tools and mindsets from the 1800s and 1900s.  In order to understand what really leads to success today, we have to let go of what we assume to be the markers of success so that we can discover the true potential for success…in ourselves and our teams.

-By Arin N. Reeves