Why do people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs? In his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Dr. Daniel Goleman, an expert on brain and behavioral sciences, addresses emotional quotient (EQ) versus IQ.1 EQ provides the evidence that being smart is not just a matter of mastering facts or equations; it requires mastering your own emotions and understanding the emotions of the people around you. EQ is a better predictor of success, quality of relationships, and overall happiness.

EQ is about your relationships:

  • Your relationship with yourself (self-awareness/adaptability)
  • Your relationships with your colleagues (collegiality/collaboration)
  • Your relationships with your clients (empathy)

I think of EQ in terms of adaptability, collegiality/collaboration, and empathy, or ACE.


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Attributed to Charles Darwin, English naturalist and geologist

Let's start with adaptability. There is constant change in professional services firms. Competition changes; just ask those who were once at Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, or Arthur Andersen. Technology changes; when I started at Morgan Stanley, there was one computer that used punch-cards for data entry. Leadership changes; Wall Street firms periodically reorganize. Regulations are replaced; for example, Dodd-Frank ...

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