Executive Intelligence – Beyond IQ

Manager AdviceIf you are an executive, are you familiar with the term “executive intelligence?”  Never heard of it? Today’s your day then. It’s tough to fill the role if you don’t even know all that’s expected. In truth, that’s a recipe for disaster-or at least disappointment.

Credible management and leadership go way beyond IQ, likeability, and charisma. Executives need to develop a heightened form of critical thinking, specifically a set of aptitudes and cognitive skills in three main areas: accomplishing tasks, working with and through other people, and changing their own behavior after honestly assessing it. Because all of these have to happen simultaneously, that’s why not everybody is cut out for the corner office. Juggling such complexity takes a lot of commitment, energy, and time.

So what aptitudes and skills related to TASKS do you need? If you do most or all of the following, you’ve got great executive intelligence in this particular area. Check yourself:

  • You can define a problem accurately.
  • You can differentiate between critical issues and less relevant ones.
  • You can anticipate obstacles to achieving goals/objectives as well as figure out how to eliminate or circumvent them.
  • You can tune in to what is not actually being said by someone.
  • You can express succinctly the strengths and weaknesses of others’ ideas.
  • You can recognize what is both known and unknown about an issue.
  • You can determine how to obtain necessary information in order to move a project forward or to solve a problem.
  • You can see many different consequences to certain actions and decisions.

How about your executive intelligence related to OTHER PEOPLE? Go through this list to see where you stand:

  • You can “read” people well.
  • You can anticipate the emotional reactions of individuals in a given situation.
  • You can accurately identify the central issues in a conflict.
  • You can recognize other people’s hidden agendas and motivations.
  • You can understand the needs of different people in a group setting and honor them.
  • You know what conclusions can be drawn from a conversation or group dialogue.
  • You can grasp the effects of your words and actions on others.

Regarding your own BEHAVIOR, how much executive intelligence do you demonstrate? Take a look:

  • You can admit that you are wrong-even publicly.
  • You encourage feedback that may go against your preferences.
  • You recognize your own personal biases and limitations.
  • You can acknowledge flaws in your thinking or judgment.
  • You can see the flaws in other people’s thinking or judgment-and talk about them appropriately.
  • You can resist others’ ideas when you know you must.
  • You can acknowledge that you aren’t well suited for your position if in fact you aren’t.

Just how “intelligent” are you as an executive?

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