Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Many Faces of Intelligence

Intelligence def. 1) The capacity to acquire and apply knowledge; a) the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations b) the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests) 2) mental acuteness

There are many different forms of intelligence. Many have delved into researching the 8 categories of intelligence and how they are exercised, recognised and demonstrated. Now there seems to be a new ‘Intelligence’ that has emerged and that is ‘Executive Intelligence’.

Looking at the truth of a situation or what is going on at any given time is the main responsibility of leaders for if they cannot determine the reality of the situation, they will not succeed in their role as leaders. Their capacity of recognizing this truth is determined by their level of intelligence. Cognitive ability testing, or IQ tests have proven to be the best predictor of work performance in any profession and, in some opinions give more information than a lengthy job interview. Some research even indicates that IQ tests predict what the performance of managers will be even more than job experience, one of the reasons being these tests show the capacity for a person to grasp information and process it.

As I’m Shadow Coaching™ my clients through their day, I not only have to see how quickly they grasp information and understand it and observe the speed of their learning curve, which is very important for anyone in a leadership role, but see how quickly they contextualize what they've learned. That is critical for a leader. I need to see how fast they integrate what they learn into their present worlds. If they absorb all this information, new processes ways of being etc and put them aside to do what they’ve always done, then I have my work cut out for me as they will struggle in their role as leaders.

Executive or what I call ‘Leadership Intelligence’ is set of abilities and proficiencies that leaders must be able to demonstrate in various contexts of their work in the realms of accomplishing tasks and how they prioritize them, how they work with people and utilize the people around them (effective delegation) as well as being absolutely aware of their own behaviours, responses, reactions etc. and the behaviours of those they work with.

Leaders must find a way to achieve their mandates while at the same time grow the organization and the people within it.

Leaders need to ‘get it’, understand the various perspectives of what they've just grasped, integrate at a very fast pace and evolve because of it.

My role is to make them aware of the roadblocks, tethers and filters that are standing in their way so we can remove them. Then I sit back and watch them, their staff and the organization fly.

Looking forward…
Donna Karlin

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