We all strive to become smarter — whether by changing our daily habits or perusing a new website— with the hope it will make us more successful.
However, the trait that takes you from average to spectacular comes from your measure of cognitive control, not your IQ, says Daniel Goleman, author of "FOCUS: The Hidden Driver Of Excellence," in a recent LinkedIn post.
Cognitive control refers to abilities such as controlling impulses, managing negative emotions, and delaying gratification in pursuit of long-term goals, Goleman explains.
He points to studies from the University of Pennsylvania to exemplify the importance of these skills: Students that earned the highest grades weren't necessarily the ones with the highest IQs, but rather those that kept trying despite setbacks and failures.
Another study Goleman analyzed monitored over 1,000 children for a 30-year period, and found that those who were most successful in their 30s where the same people that had the best cognitive control as kids.
"IQ and technical skills matter, of course, they are crucial threshold abilities, what you need to get the job done," Goleman says. "But everyone you compete with at work has those same skill sets."
It's how you use your intelligence, in the form of cognitive control, that distinguishes you in the workplace. These distinguishing characteristics, including confidence, striving for goals despite setbacks, staying cool under pressure, collaboration, persuasion, and influence are the crucial factors in building a successful career, Goleman says.
In fact, he believes that 80% to 90% of succeeding in top leadership positions comes down to these distinguishing competencies. "It's your expertise and intelligence that get you the job — but your emotional intelligence that makes you a success," he says.
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
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