Executive Success

By: Ron Venckus

Harvard University conducted a study of its top graduates over a twenty year period and discovered three areas that mattered to their success:

1. IQ
2. Technical skills (TS)
3. Emotional Skills (EQ)

In addition, they found that emotional skills mattered twice as much as IQ and technical skills combined. So, I began to wonder why this is true.

Some quick definitions are helpful at this point. IQ is a number representing intelligence level. Each person has developed their IQ by early adulthood. Technical skills are gained over a lifetime of learning and experiences in life and on the job. Emotional skills are generally spoken of as emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ), which is the ability to identify, assess and control the emotion of self, others and groups.

Today the term that encompasses both IQ and EQ is “Behavioral Competencies.” Behavioral Competency is your knowledge of skills, attitudes and actions that distinguish excellent performance. So why is your EQ twice as important as IQ and technical skills combined?

IQ is set in early adulthood and remains with us for life. IQ can’t be sold, but it can be measured and evaluated against company requirements for a specific job. Technical skills require specific job knowledge and are expected for each position in a company. For example, if you are competent in putting together a widget, you must know the components and steps in assembling that widget. Likewise, a software architect must know the components of structuring solutions.

On the emotional intelligence level however, you must bring “you” and your emotional side into play. You must be able to discuss this intelligently and effectively in order to demonstrate you value and fit in an organization. Being able to do this is such an incredible advantage. It is up to you to open the door in any interview and present, demonstrate and sell the “real” you and your behavioral competencies to show why they led to your past successes.

If one looks at what goes into a personal EQ marketing plan, the behaviors it must contain are creativity, communication skills, interpersonal skills, business acumen, managing market place ambiguities, presentation skills, and understanding of others. When considering these behaviors, it is easy to see why your behavioral competency knowledge is twice as important as the other two success factors; it’s these behaviors that describe “you” and how you interact with others. Therefore, the real value you bring to the organization is “fit.”

They can easily hire dozens of widget makers, however, hiring someone who is a good “fit” is really tough. Remember the person asking you the interview questions secretly wants to know the answer to the following simple but powerful question – unfortunately, very few of them actually ask it at all – “Do you play well with others and how do I know that?”

Click here to learn more about “Behavioral Interviewing from Ron Venckus.”