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E.I. Part 3 - EQ vs IQ

Guiding Question: Would you say you are more book-smart or more street-smart? Does an effective leader or coach have more book-smarts or street-smarts?

Key Takeaways: Information and knowledge are important, but we must be able to use that information and knowledge. Being emotionally aware and socially intelligent is knowing when, how, and why to use the information we have.

Kobe Bryant was known as a hard-driving leader who was hyperfocused on winning. He would fight his teammates if he felt like they weren’t working hard enough.

During an interview at USC, Kobe was asked, “What did you learn at the end of your career that you wish you knew at the beginning?”

He said:

“Understanding empathy and compassion. When I came in the league as a young kid it was like - I’m driving this way, and you were either on the train or the track. There was no such thing as understanding people had lives outside of the game. If I understood that at an early age, it would help me as a leader communicate better. I came to understand that later, and getting to know people on a personal level - their fears, insecurities, dreams, ambitions, and desires - can help them reach the best version of themselves.”

It took Kobe some time, but he grew to learn how important it was to get to know his teammates, and how doing this makes him a better leader.

Book Smart vs Street-Smart

My wife would tell you that she is much more street-smart than book-smart. She struggled in school, but she thrives in the real world. She can read people and situations very well and maneuver and thrive in any situation.

She would tell you that having street smarts and knowing people is much more important than academic knowledge and book smarts.

Would you say you are more book-smart or more street-smart?

Leadership is More Than What You Know

In the book Emotional Intelligence by Danial Goleman, it is written that IQ accounts for about 20% of your success in life, and 80% is left to other forces.

Goleman would say that my wife is correct - your street smarts will lead to more success than your IQ.

Your ability to handle success and frustration, control and manage your emotions, and get along with other people make more of a difference than your knowledge.

It's more about what you can do than what you know.

People who are emotionally intelligent - who know and manage their thoughts, feelings, and emotions well, and who can read, know, and manage the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others - have a better chance at success than those who aren’t and don’t.

Does an effective leader or coach have more book-smarts or street-smarts?

Interpersonal vs Intrapersonal Social Intelligence

Social Intelligence is your ability to understand others and make wise decisions because of that. There are two types of Social Intelligences:

1 - Interpersonal Intelligence is your ability to understand other people, what motivates them, how they work, and how to work cooperatively with them.

2 - Intrapersonal intelligence is your ability to understand yourself, what motivates you, and when and how you do your best work.

Which area are you stronger in - interpersonal intelligence or intrapersonal intelligence?

Goleman writes that data is important, but our feelings dictate so much more of our actions. He says, “Data can play music or write poetry with technical virtuosity, but not feel its passion.”

The best leaders are smart, but they also know how to leverage their interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge to solve problems and drive performance.

They know how to recognize and manage their emotions and the emotions of others.

There are 5 areas of Social Intelligence:

1 - Self-Awareness - How well you know your emotions.

2 - Managing Emotions - How well you can manage and handle your feelings and emotions.

3 - Motivating Yourself - How well you can manage your emotions so they lead to production.

4 - Recognizing Emotions in Others - How well you can recognize and understand the emotions in others.

5 - Handling Relationships - How well you can respond to and manage the emotions of others in a productive way.

In what areas are you the strongest? In what areas are you the weakest?


1 - Who is the most Socially Intelligent person you know - someone who recognizes, understands, and manages their emotions and the emotions of others.

2 - If you had to rank how strong you are in the 5 areas of Social Intelligence, how would you rank yourself? 1 is the area in which you are the strongest, and 5 is the area in which you are the weakest.

3 - How can you leverage your top 2 areas so that you can be a more successful teammate and/or leader?

4 - What are some things you can do to grow your bottom 2 areas?

Much of this information was taken from the introduction of Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence. You can find more about the book here: Emotional Intelligence

Previous E.I. Posts - Intro

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