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LINK Being too intelligent might make you a less effective leader | World Economic Forum

Why?? I'd be interested to hear what you all think about this.

By Faithless1
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27 comments

1

Being too intelligent might make you a less effective RIGHT WING leader.

Flettie Level 6 July 12, 2018
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Yes, or far left wing also.

0

Intelligence is all very well as a latent tendency but it needs to be employed in a practical sense, in an appropriate environment. Intelligence serves no purpose if it is applied without reference to prevailing circumstances.

IQ indicates, as I understand it, is an indicator of one's comprehensive faculties. Other personality traits would determine how this ability would be applied.

Geoffrey51 Level 7 July 11, 2018
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I think it might be accurate. I think less intelligent people might make decisions to harm others more easily, and might make harder decisions in general more easily. It doesn't seem like an exact science though. It probably takes a "different intelligence".

Piece2YourPuzzle Level 7 July 11, 2018

I'm not sure what constitutes intelligence, but for want of a better term, I wonder if more 'intelligent' people become hampered by an awareness of too many possible options and outcomes in decision-making.
I see others have said this...

Edited

@Faithless1 That seems possible. I put different intelligence is quotations because it seems one can have general intelligence, but lack emotional intelligence. I should have said emotional intelligence in my previous post initially.

@Piece2YourPuzzle I'm not sure that EI isn't just as dodgy as IQ. It can be used as an expectation of self-abnegation in workers. Leaders can use it manipulatively. Like empathy, it is a double-edged sword.
I could be wrong...

2

That's a relief, the country's in good hands afterall! 😊

Sticks48 Level 8 July 11, 2018
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That must be my problem.

I don't take the IQ thing without several shakes of salt, but I thought the average IQ was closer to 120.

AstralSmoke Level 7 July 11, 2018
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2

That study is based on IQ, but IQ is bullshit. Intelligence is an incredibly complex and multi-faceted (and not to mention hard to define) property of brains, and I don't trust any "measure" that boils all that down to a single number.

Sugargoblin Level 3 July 11, 2018
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Less effective huh?
What else?
Such shifty links are seen lately ugh 😑!

Morganfreeman Level 7 July 11, 2018
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Why shifty?

@Faithless1 f is upside down t that’s why

@Morganfreeman why shitty then?

@Faithless1 silly and shitty idea initially. I totally disagree, because in 25 years of work experience I definitely know the difference between intelligent and unintelligent driver!
Gimme break with all that useless and cheap hypothetical question that had never been truly or fully tested!

@Morganfreeman It's a hypothesis that they've tried to test. That's the point.

@Faithless1 well we’d better stop testing this ludicrous hypothesis or we are gonna have Mark Waldman winning 2020!

@Morganfreeman Why, and who's he?

@Faithless1 clown

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i think they need many qualities like knowing when to be an asshole and when to be kind and compassionate good sense and figuring out ways to handle others knowing what makes others tick so to speak can be good and not being too dtubborn or full of ones self that he can't take advice

good leaders are smart intuitive and surround themselves with a diverse well rounded team of advisors they listen to

whiskywoman Level 6 July 11, 2018
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Advisors. Yes. Which indicates no one person has all the skills, nor should be feted as a 'leader'.

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I think it's the lack of cognitive dissonance and not being too concerned over making decisions that impact people negatively. There's an extraordinarily high percentage of CEOs who test for sociopathy. I think this comes hand in hand with the largest scope of decision-making.

Highly intelligent people have too much doubt.

RobRoseBC Level 4 July 11, 2018
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1

I, unfortunately, am cursed with this... Terrible burden to carry.

Gyanez Level 5 July 11, 2018
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2

Intelligence is not necessarily the best tool to have in all circumstances. It might be natural to assume otherwise, but other qualities like compassion and the ability to work with people can be more helpful. You also have to explain exactly what is meant by ‘intelligence’ as there are many aspect to that concept alone.

indirect76 Level 7 July 11, 2018
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2

Psychopaths always make the best leaders! Sad but true...

BradleyOgle1 Level 5 July 11, 2018
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I have been put in that position more times than I cared for. If you possess a knack for knowing what to do in certain situations, people tell you that you're a leader but it's a whole 'nother story when you actually attempt it. I think leaders are figureheads that carry responsibilities we should all share.

IAJO163 Level 6 July 11, 2018
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4

There’s a STNG episode where Picard and Crusher are stranded. She asks them where they should go, and he points in a direction and confidently says “that way”. Later she asks him if he really knew which way to go, and he says something to the effect of “no, but being a leader often requires you to act as is you know what you’re doing.”

Intilligent people are skeptical, and full of doubt. That’s how we learn knew things, confronting the unknown and doubting what we think we knew. The lemmings among us are fearful, unable to confront the unknown or that which we only think we know. They want to be led by someone who addresses that fear, not the facts. Hence the age old expression, “everything that is wrong with the world is because the stupid are so confident and the wise so full of doubt”. It’s the principal reason I am a misanthrope who loathes the confidently stupid.

NerdyOkieDude Level 7 July 11, 2018
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So, it's time our concepts of 'leadership' qualities were questioned, maybe? Leadership is clearly not all it's cracked up to be. If we followers are so damn intelligent, we need to put this thing right.

@Faithless1 : yeah we can try. But I am inclined to think that human nature being what it is, this is a cognitive error we are hardwired to make.

@NerdyOkieDude I think we have to assume we are more elastic than hardwired, otherwise we may as well give up

@Faithless1 : I’m equally certain that you’re correct the we must and that we can’t.

2

Interesting topic.

vmedel Level 6 July 11, 2018
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7

Well we aren’t experiencing that right now for sure!

Robin227 Level 4 July 11, 2018
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Right on button!

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Meh, I'm leery. Setting aside my aversion to the leader/follower dynamic for a moment, I noted that the study seemed to focus mostly on IQ as the measure of intelligence. But isn't intelligence a rather subjective thing? People are always saying you can be intelligent yet lack any common sense whatsoever. How do you define intelligence? How do you quantify it?

FireBorn Level 5 July 11, 2018
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I like your aversion to leader/follower dynamic. I have it too. And I don't know what intelligence is, but it perhaps includes a greater capacity in the brain to make connections and visualise options/outcomes. But yes, this post really goes to my querying the leader/follower thing. I feel that 'leadership' qualities are being valued over 'citizen' qualities in our society atm. Or something like that... I'm not sure...

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It isn’t being “too intelligent”. It is about the group that’s is being led. Without going to the link, I assume this is about the Stanford study that shows more than a 1.2 standard deviation from the group mean causes a decline in ability to communicate and lead.

Often in my experience this is a problem that can be overcome, but there is a certain personality type that sometimes goes hand in hand with those that want to be in a leadership role that doesn’t let them try to “lower themselves” in order to be understood. I teach elementary school and some of the most intelligent people I know will be on their knees talking with an age appropriate vocabulary and reach the young kids, but then I have seen “experts” try to speak to our kids and talk over their heads and frankly are terrified of 6 year olds. The ability to adapt and having an innate empathy is what I say is important here, it really has nothing to do with a raw deviation from the mean in intelligence if you know what you are doing.

PDF Level 4 July 11, 2018
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4

Intelligence is necessary in a leader but research indicates that a leaders intellectual ability should not differ too much from that of the subordinates. If the leaders IQ is very different from that of the followers, it can have a counterproductive impact on leadership. People want to think their leader is smart but not too smart. Now, emotional intelligence is a different story. People want their leader to have high emotional intelligence. The current leader of the US has a lower IQ and no emotional intelligence.

helionoftroy Level 6 July 11, 2018
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Followers dictate who leads. So what is leadership? Where does it lead - only where followers want to go?

@Faithless1 not necessarily. How often have you had a hand in picking your boss? When was the last time policy change occurred on your job and you were instrumental? Unless you’re the leader and in charge you don’t get a say. And if the only leader you’re referring to is the Cheeto in charge then well...

No, I think there are many different types of leaders. Some have it thrust on them, some are thrust on us. Some never get to lead. Some lead from behind. etc. I'm still trying to work out if we need leaders at all, and if we do, what is best and how do we get it?

@Faithless1 Oh yes there are several types of leaders and several different styles of leadership. There's transformational leadership, authentic leadership, servant leadership, adaptive, and team. Plus all the different approaches such as trait, psychodnamic, skills, behavioral, and situational. There's a science behind effective leadership.

@helionoftroy Yes. As broad a spectrum as humanity itself. Do we need leaders at all? Is there some other dynamic that would be more effective?

3

The reason we are in this fix is because of the dynamics of ignorance, and the inabilities of those persons who do not know how ignorant they are. We have a country run by lawyers not Academics. And truly only the Polymaths should be in positions of Great Importance or advisory positions.

Etre Level 6 July 11, 2018
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See Plato's Republic for an in depth discussion of the various hierarchies

@Geoffrey51

Have it.

6

The ruling class run the world. That's the reality.

They use politicians who help maintain the lie of 'democracy' and enable imperialism through wars or economic strategies. All roads lead to the ruling class.

Ellatynemouth Level 8 July 11, 2018
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Your statement extends well beyond the scope and scale of the article, but I couldn't agree more. The names and banners have changed but corporate neo feudalism isn't really any different from regular feudalism.

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The article seems well documented and makes some sense. However the measurement techniques talked about might be suspect for their objectivity as assessment tools. What is the I Q of actual sussessfull leaders?

Tompain1 Level 5 July 11, 2018
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It largely seems to be about the relative difference between the leader and the subordinate group, as opposed to any specific number or range of numbers, but given that it tries to establish 'average intelligence' between 90-100, the range for a 'successful leader' is like 105 - 125.

You're right, it's a very subjective model and that lack of objective data framework is one of the reasons social science catches so much shade from the hard sciences. But, human interaction, especially group dynamics, involve so many non-reducible or non-excludable variables, that it becomes difficult to create adequately objective models to be scientifically conclusive.

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If this is the article I read a few months ago, it largely comes down to communication issues between people with an IQ disparity of more than 30-50 points. A leader with an IQ more than 140 will likely have problems communicating their ideas in a way that their subordinate pool averaging about 100 will easily understand, or it causes problems with fundamental capacity for more basic kinds of understanding and connecting. Leaders wit an IQ 15-30 points higher than the subordinate pool will not have this problem with as high a frequency. It also cites this communication issue as one reason a lot of 'middle-mensans' (people with IQs between like 130 and 160 give or take) often tend to have problems being successful in business or group endeavors, they aren't 'normal' enough to connect with their subordinates but not 'extremely exceptional' enough to overcome connection problems with sheer individual brilliance.

geist171 Level 5 July 11, 2018
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7

We need more intelligent leaders not less. Just take Donald Trump as a case in point. I suppose you could point out that Obama was a very intelligent guy but wasn’t very effective, but that was due more to the obdurance and lack of cooperation of republicans than any fault of his.

Marionville Level 7 July 11, 2018
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Talking from what little experience I have, say if there was a question the answer to which came to my mind instantly whereas it wasn't so straightforward to a colleague, it is very difficult to explain how I got the answer because it almost came naturally to me.
Extend this to work tasks where the person in the leadership position would have had an easier time performing the required tasks as a subordinate would now find it difficult to guide his team on matters they find challenging which the said leader didn't.

DSGavde Level 4 July 11, 2018
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