There are guys out there that posses freakish intelligence. When I say intelligence, I mean freakish IQ. We will get to why that's important in a moment! Walter O’Brien had an IQ of 179 as a child and was seen as a prodigy in his native Ireland.
I was introduced to him via Tim Ferriss when Tim featured Walter on his podcast last week. It is hard to express how I felt listening to Walter during the interview. The guy is quite simply operating on another level. He wants to tackle issues the vast majority of the world rarely concern themselves with, simply because of their magnitude. The only way I can describe the joy I felt hearing him tackle these big questions, was that it made me feel proud to be human.
A subject Walter touched on in the interview which I found fascinating was this idea of ''EQ'' vs ''IQ''. In 1990, Mr Daniel Goleman, a reporter at The New York Times came across an article in a small academic journal by two psychologists, John Mayer (University of New Hampshire) and Peter Salovey (Yale). Mayer and Salovey offered the first formulation of a concept they called “emotional intelligence" (EQ). The EQ concept argues that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow; that there are wider areas of Emotional Intelligence that dictate and enable how successful we are. Success requires more than IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which has tended to be the traditional measure of intelligence, ignoring essential behavioural and character elements. It really looks to address that age old question "why are academically brilliant individuals so poor socially and inter-personally inept?". What we know is that despite possessing a high IQ rating, success does not automatically follow. Different approaches and theoretical models have been developed for Emotional Intelligence.
IQ is our score derived from one of several standardised tests designed to assess human intelligence. The abbreviation IQ was coined by the psychologist William Stern for the German term Intelligenzquotient. The reason for this post is to confirm that EQ and IQ are linked. Generally the higher your EQ the lower your IQ. You can improve your EQ but not IQ. Interestingly Walter mentions he is regularly contacted by those who have expressed their anguish that they were not made aware of this link earlier in their lives. They almost saw their high IQ as a crutch to achieving their potential. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me has been the impact of EQ in the world of business. It is generally accepted that 85% of business success comes from EQ not IQ. I'm not sure about you guys but I found this to be staggeringly high. The Harvard Business Review has hailed emotional intelligence as “a ground-breaking, paradigm-shattering idea,” one of the most influential business ideas of the decade. It is useful to understand this link when training or leading others as well as implementing personal development strategies.