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Being Too Intelligent Makes you a Less Effective Leader





Many people think that it if somebody has a high IQ  then he or she will automatically make a good leader. Yet research has shown that people with a high IQ may have the wrong personalities for strong leadership.  Most often, it is people with a high EQ who make excellent leaders.  These are the people who are able to communicate well, listen well and lead in a manner that is more inclusive and effective.  Emotional intelligence is important for good leadership.

Good leaders do need to have strong vision, good people skills and a strong integrity.  Intelligence helps of course, especially when it comes to explaining, debating and communicating.  But you do not have to be a genius to do do these things. In fact, many people who are exceptionally clever have poor communication skills.  They’re on a ‘different level’ and often this level does not translate to good leadership.

Research was conducted on close to 400 mid-level leaders in various companies in various European cities.  They were managers in various sectors of the corporate world, in the banking industry, retail, telecoms and hospitality.  Studies show how better leaders had average IQs.  Their IQs were slightly higher than the average IQ of general members of the population, but they were not of genius level.



People of genius level often march to their own drumbeat.  They’re brilliant with academics but not so good with personality or communication. And to be a good leader, a person needs to have a good personality.  It helps when your staff like you!  The studies show that anyone with an IQ of 120 or over, may struggle in a leadership position.  These people cannot communicate clearly and we all know, communication is key.

Leadership becomes even less effective with IQ scores of 128 or over.  It’s a clear case of people have different strengths and just because somebody is super bright, we should not expect them to be super leaders too!

Being Too Intelligent Makes you a Less Effective Leader Being Too Intelligent Makes you a Less Effective Leader Reviewed by Tim on May 28, 2018 Rating: 5

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