A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Sep 21, 2015

Why Attitude Is More Important Than IQ

In the tech era the presumption has been that intelligence beats every other human attribute. Revenge of the Nerds has been the emblematic symbol of success.

But as the following article explains, research is beginning to suggest that intelligence is more of an advantage when things are going well than when they are not. It is very good at keeping us out of trouble, but not necessarily as beneficial when we find ourselves already under it and more primal or emotional attributes are required.

Failure is useful because it gives us good information on what not to do the next time. How we use that knowledge in order to improve and then evince the fortitude to do so may well be more of a determinant of future achievements, especially in an economy in which competition has redefined the likelihood and nature of success. JL

Travis Bradberry reports in Quartz:

Common sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms. According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure.
When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But new research from Stanford University will change your mind (and your attitude).
Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.
Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
 With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.
Common sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.
According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the approach to failure of people with the growth mindset as an inability to deal with failure. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing; in fact, failure is helpful information. It shows us how to do better next time.
Regardless of which side of the chart you fall on, you can make changes and develop a growth mindset. What follows are some strategies that will fine-tune your mindset and help you make certain it’s as growth oriented as possible.
Don’t stay helpless. We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. There are countless successful people who would have never made it if they had succumbed to feelings of helplessness: Walt Disney was reportedly fired from the Kansas City Star because he lacked imagination, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor in Baltimore for being too emotionally invested in her stories, Henry Ford failed multiple times prior to succeeding with Ford, and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s Cinematic Arts School two times.  We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling.  Imagine what would have happened if any of these people had a fixed mindset. They would have succumbed to the rejection and given up hope. People with a growth mindset don’t feel helpless because they know that in order to be successful, you need to be willing to fail hard and then bounce right back.
Be passionate. Empowered people pursue their passions relentlessly. There’s always going to be someone who’s more naturally talented than you are, but what you lack in talent, you can make up for in passion. Empowered people’s passion is what drives their unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Warren Buffet recommends finding your truest passions using something he calls the 5/25 technique: Write down the 25 things that you care about the most. Then, cross out the bottom 20. The remaining 5 are your true passions. Everything else is merely a distraction.
Take action. It’s not that people with a growth mindset are able to overcome their fears because they are braver than the rest of us; it’s just that they know fear and anxiety are paralyzing emotions and that the best way to overcome this paralysis is to take action. People with a growth mindset are empowered, and empowered people know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.
Then go the extra mile (or two). Empowered people give it their all, even on their worst days. They’re always pushing themselves to go the extra mile. According to a popular legend, one of Bruce Lee’s pupils ran three miles every day with him. One day, they were about to hit the three-mile mark when Bruce said, “Let’s do two more.” His pupil was tired and said, “I’ll die if I run two more.” Bruce’s response? “Then do it.” His pupil became so angry that he finished the full five miles. Exhausted and furious, he confronted Bruce about his comment, and Bruce explained it this way:  Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. “Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
If you aren’t getting a little bit better each day, then you’re most likely getting a little worse—and what kind of life is that?
Expect results. People with a growth mindset know that they’re going to fail from time to time, but they never let that keep them from expecting results. Expecting results keeps you motivated and feeds the cycle of empowerment. After all, if you don’t think you’re going to succeed, then why bother?
Be flexible. Everyone encounters unanticipated adversity. People with an empowered, growth-oriented mindset embrace adversity as a means for improvement, as opposed to something that holds them back. When an unexpected situation challenges an empowered person, they flex until they get results.
Don’t complain when things don’t go your way. Complaining is an obvious sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything, so there’s no room for complaints.

118 comments:

Deb A said...

What a great article. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the transformation work done in the Landmark Forum. Great ideas! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

A person who has a better IQ can find answers quickly, but I believe for those who has great Attitude (EQ) can provide better solutions..

Bill Fotsch said...

Agreed. Among Southwest Airlines many insights, "Hire for attitude, train for skill." has served them very well, for the reasons you articulated in this article. I suspect this is due to the range of attitude is very broad, from passionate team players to self serving sloths, where as the range in intellect is somewhat less so.

Ravi Kiran M said...

Very good article. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

An IQ up to 120 contributes to success. Beyond 120 IQ stops being a determining factor. It does not matter if your IQ is 120 or 180. Other factors become important - creativity, mental toughness etc. You have presented a nice article on one of them.

Unknown said...

An IQ up to 120 contributes to success. Beyond 120 IQ stops being a determining factor. It does not matter if your IQ is 120 or 180. Other factors become important - creativity, mental toughness etc. You have presented a nice article on one of them.

Coach Peter Popovich said...

I love when research is shared especially when it gets us to reflect. I certainly believe in the value of IQ but 'know' how attitudes and mindset 'trump'! We should all 'test' this research for personal applicability. Thank you.

Miss Zara said...

Great Article. Thanks for the sharing!

Edmund Sampson said...

This is a fantastic piece of article. Thanks for sharing. With the right attitude, one can develop what ever skillsl set required for success.

Sri said...

Excellent Article!!

Rajesh Ramlal said...

I think that both IQ and EQ are necessary for succeed today. As an Author, Service Culture Trainer and Operations Manager I've worked with people who have great attitudes but lack the IQ to understand and work with complex situations and fail because of this shortcoming. I have also worked with, interviewed and trained people with high IQ and bad attitudes who also failed because of their attitudes, good and bad. I think that a balance is needed for today's world.

Rajesh Ramlal said...

My previous post contained a typo. Here's the revised comment:

I think that both IQ and EQ are necessary for success today. As an Author, Service Culture Trainer and Operations Manager I've worked with people who have great attitudes but lack the IQ to understand and work with complex situations and fail because of this shortcoming. I have also worked with, interviewed and trained people with high IQ and bad attitudes who also failed because of their attitudes, good and bad. I think that a balance is needed for today's world.
Rajesh Ramlal
Author
www.RajeshRamlal.com

Unknown said...

Thank you, makes me feel good

S P Garg said...

nice points .IQ and EQ ,both important .Focus has to be on initiatives with creativity.

Unknown said...

An excellent piece! People with growth mind set invariably find themselves isolated in a team environment and in the face of their team members demonstrating fixed mind set and naturally unable to appreciate different attitude to theirs! Working in such environment is challenging say the least!

Alan Roberts said...

There are three attributes, skills, knowledge and attitude. A company can provide skills and knowledge, you cannot provide attitude which is the prerequisite anyone needs to bring to their career themselves

Anonymous said...

Just what I needed to read and interpret today! Thank you for this great article.

Andrea Esposito said...

Every point hits the mark.
Thanks for sharing! Andy

Anurag Khare said...

Great Articles... pls read and learn something...

Ray Opoku said...

A fine piece of scholarship. I couldn't be more inspired. Thanks for sharing

Bart Stafford said...

I really liked the article and will try to keep these concepts in mind. It would be interesting to know if one's mindset is impacted in a predictable way by age, stage of career, etc.

Anonymous said...

Rings true. Fear of failing can be paralyzing and limits learning.

Kayode Iledare said...

But what happens when growth mindset person is surrounded by fixed mindset people?

Loughlin Tatem said...

One may not be able to to much sbout IQ but one's attitude can either be motivated or crushed.

Loughlin Tatem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
schmidtfarum said...

Great article, it coins what I have seen many times from entrepreneurs.

Unknown said...

Very positive snd great article. ..

Aaya said...

Motivation is more important than IQ in language learning > And smart people are naturally motivated> And they say if one is not creative he can learn it by practise>

pennypower said...

I really enjoyed this and shared it with my FaceBook and Twitter network that are full of small businesses seeking growth and this advice will be super fort hem, thank you

Anonymous said...

Why compare attitude with IQ when they are incomparable elements? Attitude is a virtue while IQ is an attribute. While I somewhat disagree with the writer on the purported importance of attitude over IQ, I would like to mention that “good” attitude is a desirable virtue that should be embraced. However, it is not always useful or relevant in all circumstances. IQ on the other hand is an attribute that is desirable, useful and relevant in all circumstances. The attitude of an iPod manufacturer in China is irrelevant to the customer in London. One could further argue that when the going gets tough, one’s attitude could reduce the internal and external pressure from stakeholders but it is one’s IQ that would lead on out of the unpleasant situation and not attitude.

Anonymous said...

I believe that both attitude and IQ are important to success, however, attitude can be most effective when there is failure or when the things aren't going well, as stated. Thanks for sharing.

Suleman Malik said...

The article entails practical lessons for both individuals and organizations. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

As the old saying goes, "Your attitude determines your altitude."

Rob Jones said...

This is a lesson that most youth learn by the time they get to Jr. High. Aptitude is great to fight your way through the curriculum. But the gut check necessary for fighting your way home after school (or the diplomacy necessary for getting around it) requires an entirely different set of skills. How many very smart kids crater under the socio-emotional pressures of the school environment? The work place is no different, and by some strange coincidence, employees come from the school systems.

gregorio jr Ramos said...

Nice article. Fortitude is attitude, not IQ. When the going gets tough, one must be able to cope with it and get going. His Adversity Quotient must be high. Thanks for sharing this article..

Unknown said...

Great article. As they say, your attitude and not aptitude, will take you to the latitudes.

Piyush Aggarwal said...

Good one will try to in line

Piyush Aggarwal said...

Good one will try to in line

Kathryn Groening said...

thank you for sharing a great article

Bachhawat Heritage Foundation said...

CAN NOT AGREE MORE... THANK FOR SHARING

Calvin said...

I've been saying this for years as I talk about attitude in my book, "Four Steps in Developing Your Attitude, Commitment and Enthusiasm"...

MrSportPsych said...

Bingo! Wonderful article which fits 100% with my experience!
Dr. Hal Myers and I co-founded Thought Technology Ltd. in 1974 – and the world did NOT beat a path to our door, to buy the first ‘mass consumer Biofeedback Device’. Being on the financial ropes, my monthly struggling had swamped our boat when ‘Prevention Magazine’ wrote this article, which I had seeded with a GSR2! In a week we were saved with 10,000 inquiries and 3,500 sales! http://www.thoughttechnology.com/blog/wp/?works=prevention-magazine . For 5 years my Sports Buddy, Major Nory Laderoute, Head of Combat Training for the Canadian Armed Forces, ran the 6 miles around St. Hubert Air Force Base – 1,500 times – 9,000 miles, and we created the “Mind Over Muscle” Peak Performance System, now 41 years later How to put AC Milan, Chelsea FC & Vancouver Canucks in the same sentence? Thought Technology Ltd.! http://tinyurl.com/l5866xc

Angel Rafael Avendaño Aroni said...

Besides Attitude, manage of emotional intelligence help us when we are involved in troubles

Tony G. said...

How we do things can be more important then what we do....although they are both important.

Duygu Kurtar said...

Thank you for publishing great article

Linda Borek said...

This is so relevant for hiring. Although I want smart employees, actually what I really want is smart with a growth mindset. Smarts without a positive attitude creates high turnover especially in a constantly changing and challenging industry. Thanks for sharing this information.

Tony Highland said...

I think many agree with the content of this excellent article, but still these great 'ideas' are only integrated into the recruitment within only a few 'great' organisations. I don't think that is a co-incidence. Senior teams have to live this mentality every day to make this a working reality, walking and properly communicating the talk. In business today there are very few senior executives that are close enough to the engine room of recruitment to understand this reality and distracted by the consistent drive for increased EBITDA, whilst misunderstanding or maybe ignoring the obvious link between improving the organisational DNA and consistent growth mindset.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article! Thanks for a well thought out POV!

Phyllis Thesier said...

As a communication - accent trainer, I work with many brilliant individuals - Yet brilliance can help or hinder learning effective communication.
It comes down to "Mindset". It's all of those statements we hear inside of our heads. What we say to ourselves determines our actions.
Change our inner discourse and we change our outer lives.
As an adolescent, my inner discourse on awakening in the morning was less than positive. My father's on the other hand was "Act Enthusiastic and you'll BE ENTHUSIASTIC" Hearing this said so often and being encouraged to say it aloud several times, has reframed many of my mornings.
Voicing positive proactive phrases that an inner attitude resists has re-energized and helped many find solutions and collaborative partners.

Didier De Smedt said...

Thanks for this article. A lot of wisdom... Where I stop to adhere is when you oppose "growth mindset" and IQ. These have nothing to do at all with each other: "Growth mindset"as you define it, is what I would call flexibility , positivism and adaptability, IQ is a highly debatable measure of the speed of connection in one's brain. There is no consensus and an unchallenged testing of IQ. Personnally, I feel better personally better of with a clever person displaying a flexible, positive and adaptable mindset.

Unknown said...

This is a great article because it forces internal thought about an either or scenario. I think most of us would say you need both and recent findings are interesting to add to the debate. I read a study of most productive engineers at Google. When the dust settled it wasn't Stanford, UC Berkeley or other high profile schools. The study showed San Jose State University yielded the most productive engineers. This blew a lot of analytics and culture people away.
Now I will add another element. We spend alot of time looking at individuals for these type of articles/studies so we did our own research in a high performance company setting ( 40 companies). What we found is while everyone is focused on the individual and their attributes it is clear TEAMS are where 80-90% of business outcomes come from. If you believe this then the question is are there variables of teams that are different than aggregating individuals? We found the answer is yes!!! This is not new but in the context of high performance we then asked what are the variables of execution in teams that predict results. My point is we in our business environment today have accelerated beyond using individual data to predict true business outcomes up to 12 months out.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the article. It is inspiriational. There are times when self care must take precedence over pushing forward. Sometimes is is necessary to change course and pursue a different path. You can keep your positive attitude but modify your gols should tey be unobtainable or detrimental to health and wellness.

Unknown said...

少吐槽,多看书

Shereen Kenyon said...

The article is a reminder that when recruiting consider the role requirements, not all roles require the IQ of a scientist but some do, so decide the level and if necessary test. Measuring attitude takes a properly structured interview but better still seek out references and not just the ones you are provided - use your networks. Finally and most importantly look at your leadership team, we need inspirational leaders and managers as without motivation to fan the fires attitudes can change. So find people with the right level of IQ for the job with a great attitude but nurture them don't just throw them out there and expect success.

Anonymous said...

Good article, in particular for those who has difficult times being selfemployed. I myself, when hiring, clearly look at the person's attitude - to various aspects of our life, because this is something you can hardly teach at work, the rest you can gain much easier/

Ebson said...

No matter what knowledge or skill we possess, we cannot succeed without the right attitude. In fact, some researchers believed that attitude accounts for about 80% of our performance and success. When we acquired knowledge and skills, we must backed them with the right attitude for us to be successful.
http://successvalues.com/what-affects-your-performance-and-success/

Unknown said...

Then in that case you will not have the opportunity to spread your wings and they will try everybit curb your thinking and creativity.

ANUPAM SINHA said...

Very good article., we need to have flexible attitude in different situations because life will not behave as per fixed rule.

Paolo said...

The importance of attitude versus intelligence is an age old debate usually backed up by very little science and where proving a true link is difficult. The author indicates that "research is beginning to suggest that intelligence is more of an advantage when things are going well than when they are not". The key word is suggest, which means there may be a link and there may not.

In the EQ/IQ debate there are many scientific articles and proper statistical analysis that very few people I find bother to examine. A good summary can be found in an article by Barrick, Mount and Judge called "Personality and Performance and the Beginning of the new Millennium". It is well worth a read. It looks at 100 years of research into the factors, introversion, extroversion, intelligence, EQ, etc and finds that statistically, it can be proven there are two factors that are associated with success and they are intelligence and conscientiousness. According to what has been proven, if you are smart and have a single minded in pursuit of a goal, then you will be successful (this of course does not apply to everything in life, I will NOT be able to lift 400 kgs no matter how intelligent or committed I am). We can see this in various entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, both of whom appear to have or had 0 EQ.

Does this mean I think EQ is irrelevant, no. To be successful will depend on the company, the culture, the country, etc. It's all a game really where one must know the rules. Unfortunately, I think that IQ matters for a lot as does knowing how to "play the game", which may mean that being two-faced and backstabbing may be better than EQ. In many countries, to quote Peter Drucker, "if you perform you earn the right to be disagreeable to the boss" rules, I have found this in the US. In other countries, that are smaller, it's not what you know but who you know. In places like China, success is definitely linked to IQ, persistence and who you are connected to. I don't think EQ in China plays much part at all and won't for probably centuries.

We are a fascinating lot us humans, so many games, so much focus on not just getting the job done.

velchal said...

our Attitude Decides Our altitude It is the first alphabet of success It is a spectacle (Eye glasses) through which you see the world Attitude connects the inner with outer ... great article reconfirmation of several successful leaders-- good contribution
v s sudhaker

Cheryl Moraes said...

So True! Loved the article! Especially the Bruce Lee part! (Y)

God's Daughter said...

This is a great article! Thank you for sharing!

Shaneen Meyers said...

Thankyou. Yes a refreshing article. A question: is IQ and attitude linked? if so what is their relationship to each other? what IQ level influences attitude positively? does it take IQ to learn positive attitude? mmmmmm... personally I have never linked the two up until your article. very thought provoking...Thanks again.

Sujeet James Sarwan said...

Amazing article!!
Over the years, I’ve been teaching kids about a simple but powerful concept called the Ant Philosophy.
I think everybody should study ants.
They have an amazing four-part philosophy.
They’ll climb over.
They’ll climb under.
They’ll climb around.
They keep looking for another way.
Ants never quit.
Yes ATTITUDE precedes everything in life

Michael Farmer said...

Great article and excellent discussion with some thought provoking questions. From a competitive athlete's perspective, it is well-known and recognized that attitude is what creates the great winner. Technique and training can take one only so far. It is the mindset that puts Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky and so many others on the podium. It is the same with entrepreneurs and developers.

Didar Baig said...

IQ helps you to respond quickly but attitude helps you in overcoming the new challenges

Esther Glaze said...

I agree this was a great article! Thank you for sharing. I believe attitude presents opportunity for IQ. IQ does not necessarily presents positioning when you are searching for a spot. One can use IQ only so far. A great attitude will usually have discernment and flexibility. IQ does not necessarily carry those traits.

Francisco Salazar-Elvir said...

IQ is status or condition (passive). Attitude is IQ in action (pro-active).
Tha's the great difference and the key to success in life.

burningmanagementblog.com said...

Great article and good stimulus. I blog often about such issues. For me there is a statistical anomaly here in that there are always a few names chosen to illustrate a point when in fact, by the law of normal distribution, most aren't going to have anywhere near that degree of success. A positive attitude they may well have but without underpinning IQ it might amount to nought (when measured by a narrow definition of what constitutes business/life success anyway). The 'danger' of leaning heavy into attitude at the expense of IQ is that there will be a positive bias to activities that focus on this aspect at the expense of developing our brain. The pursuit of personality development without a concomitant intellectual development (which research shows is already happening in upper middle class parents' choices for their children) will become a long-term problem in a world that needs rational-based solutions to complex probelms e.g. climate change. I'd much rather focus on what I often refer to as the Paradox of the AND, a phrase coined by Porras and Collins in Built to Last. We should encourage the development of attitude AND IQ in equal measure. IQ is measurable but attitude is subjective and to not put some constraint on what we mean by it leads us open to the development of unchecked charisma - a characteristic Jordan Belfort still has in great abundance. I should know he's pedalling his particular expertise in my city at this very moment. I would encourage a more complex approach which looks at the quotients needed to become a successful manager/leader, or just successful at life. There are many and I won't be exhaustive here, but IQ is needed to be supplemented by EQ, cultural quotient (CQ), motivational quotient (MQ), creative quotient (another CQ!!), tenacity quotient (TQ), loyalty quotient (LQ) ...you get the picture.

Gideon Shedrak said...

This is one of the best articles I have read and I will like to share this to friends.

Unknown said...

Fantastic article!!! Thanks for sharing!

R K Gupta said...

Attitude only determines success in life and career. Three most parameters of success are
1. Positive attitude in life while handling people and situations
2.Attitude about feeling about other persons while interacting
3. handling odd situations and difficulties.
So when attitude is good it leads to positivist and action from you and you restlessly follow your cherished destination goal and work for it untiringly.
There is a saying in Indian village folks- karat karat abhya ke jad mati hoy Sujaan. Meaning by continuous practice and tenacity even dull minded person becomes expert.
If you don't have special skill it can always be outsourced or consulted om other.
So live life with attitude Yes I can and keep moving , repeating, trying,retrying till others get tired , give in and cooperate with you

Usman Ghani said...

Strongly agree with the fact that attitude is way more important than IQ. You can teach people skills but can not change attitudes.

Mukund Harne said...

Thank you for sharing the insights on very important aspects of human nature. Understanding the Attitude and IQ factors are very important while managing the team. If have to choose, I would choose Attitude over IQ, the reason is very simple. Attitude matters in the difficult times and if it is well supported by IQ then nothing is impossible in this world. It will make things easy to grow for an individual, team and organization together.

하현진 said...

Thanks for sharing a great article reminding me of what is more important in business sector in long run as well as in my life and the better idea on how to harmonize them to work for each other for creating a better result for the team and the organization.

Gabaniel Zambrano said...

IQ has nothing to do with attitude, please do not mix the issues

Jaffar Mjasiri said...

I think the article is great! But I wonder if there is any problem if a person complains. I believe it's a temper vent where you release your frustration. People who have fixed mindset cannot stomach complaints. To the contrary growth mindset opens up to criticisms. Unfortunately all dictators keep using this phrase don't be part of the problem but part of solution. This sounds crazy to me. I could be wrong!

Anonymous said...

Many of the comments treat attitude as an unalterable binary end-state (i.e. you either have a good or bad attitude). When it is really a process of learned behaviors, habits, and feelings. Our attitudes are constantly evolving. Try evaluating Mr. Bradberry's report in the aforementioned process.
Passion (feelings...judgement, perception), Take action (learned behavior), go the extra mile or two (build habits), Expect results (outcomes that drive our judgement about and perception of our passions) be flexible (new learned behaviors). If you have learned to be a quitter I am certain you can learn to be a winner. I for one look forward to reading Carol Dweck's study to understand her research methodology and findings to better understand the predictive validity of attitude regards success.

twin_thomas said...

Interesting article, Jeff, thanks for sharing. There is a lot of work since the 70s around intelligence and mindset. We now agree that there are multiple intelligences and IQ measures perhaps 2-3 of them: logical-mathematical, verbal and visual.

There are also kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential, which are hardly necessary to ace a typical IQ test used at schools - although originally developed for the military.

Finally, attitude can overcome shortcomings elsewhere. A flexible, adaptable mind will anticipate its own limitations and appreciate others' talents. People like that create better teams and as individuals tend to be happier and live fuller lives.

Anonymous said...

This article is trying to separate traits that are highly correlated with each other.

Giftedness is a different way of perceiving/functioning in the world that combines high IQ with intensity, perfectionism, sensitivity, and other traits that are the root sources for perseverance and a growth mindset. A couple of good examples of this are Thomas Edison's and Albert Einstein's resilience/persistence in the face of repeated failures.

As for "growth mindsets"...This is the same concept that Dabrowski proposed in his theory of positive disintegration, which explored why some people overcame the torture of concentration camps while others crumbled from the pressure. Again, those with a high IQ are more likely to engage in positive disintegration. In other words, those with high IQ are more likely to have the "growth mindsets" that are ideal for overcoming obstacles.

Unknown said...

I can relate to the article very well even before the study i always believed attitude is the key, i always tell the freshers entering corporate world, there will be people around you and one of them will make it big, not because they are more intelligent or qualified but only because the way they carry on without giving up. If you try all the possible options and try to do the right thing in your role without giving up, you might not get what you want but no one can take from you what you deserve. Some people get sooner what they deserve and some people get late but all are sure to get it. If you dont get it then know that you got to try differently.

Unknown said...

I can relate to the article very well even before the study i always believed attitude is the key, i always tell the freshers entering corporate world, there will be people around you and one of them will make it big, not because they are more intelligent or qualified but only because the way they carry on without giving up. If you try all the possible options and try to do the right thing in your role without giving up, you might not get what you want but no one can take from you what you deserve. Some people get sooner what they deserve and some people get late but all are sure to get it. If you dont get it then know that you got to try differently.

Mark Henry Freeman said...

Brings a lot of introspection. Nice piece, thanks for sharing

Cindy Teh said...

I like the theories about fixed mindset and growth mindset. Those with positive attitude will always have growth mindset, they can change and progress. Well article written!

Josephine Yei said...

Thank you for sharing an excellent article that makes a lot of sense.

Once the mindset has been fixed like putting oneself into a box, the thinking is always within the box and unable to breakthrough the border. Slowly it will become a habit that one won't even wanna to think further or try because he/she already got used the same way of thinking. Our life will remain the same if Steve Job does not try to improve the I-Pod to I-Phone then to I-Pad. We have to thank those people whom have growth mindset to make the world difference.

ADEEL AMJAD said...

Great article, inspiring :)

Anonymous said...

Have huge belief in positive thought and actions are the enablers to positive outcomes. This mindset, approach is so important today. However wise, sensible smart analysis skills of reality is I feel equally key in determining what to do next. Learning eg from experience is wise ,is smart and introduces reality to positive intent. It's not much fun repeating well intentioned but unsuccessful actions. IQ here is very helpful when used to plan a better pathway...ie to climb out of the hole a good ladder can be very helpful!

Ravi Mathur said...

One can not help without the other. It is a mix of both attitude and IQ that helps propel people. Positive attitude provide soft skills as outlined here that are a necessity for a successful outcome. It is probably for this reason that a whole lot of inventions are commercialized by non-inventors.

Dr. Pradeep V Desai said...

Thanks for sharing. IQ is useful to address mechanical-materialistic problems / challenges while EQ helps addressing People problems / feelings. It is great to have both.

akshay said...

Nice article. Thanks for sharing..

Unknown said...

Great article. It has a success recipe

muneeb Abu-Ghazaleh said...

Great article. It has a success recipe

Unknown said...

That is me to a tee. Yeah!

Unknown said...

few critical comments...which implies people like simple "truths" which seems to be the way of the world today and the reason we cannot fix any of the real problems which should not be the case with so many people with the right attitude around...

lizhector said...

My hiring motto is attitude is everything. If this is correct then learning, execution, and accomplishment are all possible.

Jaafar Mabrouk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaafar Mabrouk said...

EQ is necessary more to each day life,we find answers to fix problem that we face many times in this article as to take sometimes a decision and its responsability
How much is the QI of Travis Bradberry the author of the article?
it must be over 140 .
,thanks a lot for sharing

Ritu Vinayak said...

The right attitude can save a not-so-high IQ person, but a high IQ cannot save a poor attitude person; then he/she needs to be lucky!

Attitude gets even more crucial to keep going when the IQ is not so high.

Sidharath Tuli said...

Very well written. Adversity is a much better teacher than success ever can be. Adversity builds character, pushes you to test your limits and most important forces you to re-examine your beliefs, mindset and habits. IQ can only take you so far, but EQ would take you to the top. It will help you tide over difficulties and build resilience so important to bounce back.

Divakar said...

Great article! This has helped me to pickup some important cues as I am presently transforming my career path from employee to entrepreneur

Dhananjay Barve said...

Great article! Skills can be taught or developed but changing or developing right attitude takes time.

Dhananjay Barve said...

Great article! Skills can be taught or developed but changing or developing right attitude takes time.

Kamna Pruvost said...

There is a basic premise here, of 'which is better - intelligence or attitude', which I feel is misleading - it gives the impression of the two attributes being mutually exlusive. In my experience I have obeserved that this is an unfortunate assumption that undermines teams and businesses suffer from this 'divide'.

aangan said...
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Syed Bokhari said...

An excellent thought piece and very enriching comments. It is difficult to achieve a perfect elixir of success; it combines so many factors and unique to individuals and organizations. There is no one size, which fits to all or even majority. Experience tells that intelligence, attitude, environment and luck may contribute a lot towards material success. But I wonder, whether material success is equivalent to spiritual success?

Anonymous said...

M. Hady Sherif: What an interesting and educative article to share, In short, the EQ (attitude/emotional intelligence/positive human relations) may be the true measure of human intelligence rather than the IQ (Intelligent Quotient). M. Hady Sherif

Türk Okcusu said...

I really like this article. But I have some concern: A writer (Ibnu'l-Cevzi, 1114-1201) explain his book named "Books of Intelligences"(Kitabu'l-Ezkiya), an intelligence man, think/forecast everything before they happen, then He/She manage their behavior. I agree, intelligence is a tool for a man for doing good things. If we don't/can't do that, there is some problem. The problem is, we are human beings. Sometime human thinks good things but he can't realize or do that. As for me this is also valid for mindset. Because, intelligence and mindset arise from human beings. Thanks for this article. So I can say that; some time mindset eats intelligence and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

Agree!! Wisdom (EQ) is more important than Intelligence (IQ) for Wisdom comprised of intelligence whereas intelligence doesn't comprised of wisdom.

Riaz Ahmad Malik said...

Highly impressive and convincing to change yourself to try following the footsteps. Will read again and again and try to gain the insight for practical use.

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