A Degree gets you to the reception; Likeability propels you up the stairs!

I am a firm believer in the value of education and academic qualifications – which is why I panicked a few years ago when  I took an online IQ test. Even though my result showed an IQ which was  very respectfully above the  average (thanks to my degree and post graduate qualifications), it was disappointingly nowhere near the level where I should consider taking out a membership of  the world renowned brainy IQ society, Mensa!

I was gutted! How was I ever going to be professionally successful if my IQ was not at genius level? The solution, for me, was obvious. I would have to go back to school to obtain another academic qualification, this time a doctorate degree! Also, I reasoned that a doctorate degree would give me the added advantage of allowing me to appear more intelligent especially when I change the prefix of my name from the very ordinary “Mrs” to “Dr”. This would surely open more doors for me!

During the course of my research to find a “suitable” doctorate degree to apply for, I stumbled across the works of Daniel Goleman on Emotional Intelligence (EI) and refocused my thoughts and energies.  The clip below shows Daniel explaining EI in a recent interview and the importance of this on career performance.

Over the years, I have come across and coached so many people who have acquired “wall to wall” academic and professional qualifications but who have remained disappointed at their perceived level of professional achievements in their chosen careers. Conversely, I have met numerous, numerous people who have achieved significant amount of successes and achievements with what they considered to be the basic level of academic qualifications. In the main, what the latter set of people have is the right attitude, the likeability factor, the competence and skills to get on with all sorts of people, build
contacts and manage relationships appropriately.

Degrees are very important as they increase your IQ and give you the entry level qualification to be technically competent in your chosen field. However, once in the business arena, the X factor that gives you the edge and propels your career and business success is your attitude, likeability and Emotional Intelligence which includes:

  • How you portray and carry yourself
  • How you perceive and create your opportunities
  • How you handle your setbacks
  • How you communicate with yourself and others
  • How you relate to other people – regardless of their status and backgrounds
  • How you navigate and manage the inevitable
    politics that come with all interactions with people

Celebrities and people in the public eye have known this for a while. The most successful celebrities are not necessarily the ones with the highest IQs. It is finally catching up in the workplace that the people who get on are not necessarily the ones with the most degrees or the most letters after (or indeed before) their names.

Ignoring this simple fact, at best, leads to disappointment and at worst, fosters the situation where we find ourselves hired for skills and fired for attitude!


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