Is Attitude or IQ more important?

We face challenges in life and at work every single day. How we approach them is often a strong indicator of the type of person we are and whether we will be successful.

Growing up, most of us were taught that the smarter you were, the farther you would go in life. Make the best grades and go to the best college – that was the key to getting the right job and finding “unparalleled success”. However, our recruiting team can tell you that your attitude is far more important than your intelligence.

It’s true, employers value intelligence and skills but we have seen it proven time and again that “your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ”.  In fact, a recent study from Stanford University found that people are divided between two attitudes: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. People with higher IQ generally tend to be in the fixed mindset group while people with lower IQ are generally growth mindset people.

Have you ever worked with someone who obviously wanted to look smart, but wasn’t willing to embrace the growth necessary to achieve true excellence? Maybe they avoided challenges, gave up quickly when faced with problems beyond their usual scope, or ignored negative feedback? Surely it couldn’t apply to them, right? That’s a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset individual who is challenged beyond their capabilities will generally give up.

On the other side you have those who are eager to learn more and improve their outcomes. They’ll dig in and put in that extra effort to excel, even when it appears that their challenges are growing. Maybe you know someone who sees challenges and obstacles as things that simply need to be overcome, rather than insurmountable roadblocks? That’s a growth mindset.  A growth mindset person who is faced with a challenge is typically able to handle it if they continue to put forth effort.

In a nutshell – Intelligence and skills can only get you so far but what really counts is your attitude.

Regardless of which mindset you are, there are strategies you can use to fine-tune your attitude and help ensure you are more valued and successful:

Don’t Complain – Often we complain because it feels (really) good, requires minimal risk, and it’s easy but instead look for the opportunity in every situation and stay positive.

Be Passionate – Passion for a job or a subject lends itself to success. Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – If you’re faced with failure or rejection, learn from the experience and get back on the horse.  Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.

Go the Extra Mile – Perseverance is the name of the game here. Don’t set limits and look to exceed expectations.

Be Flexible – Be ready and willing to take each step as it comes. Assess, learn, make corrections, and move on.

As it turns out, a simple shift in attitude can create transforming differences in what many people are able to accomplish. If you need team members, whether for permanent or interim roles, that have game changing attitudes call The CFO Suite so you gain a competitive advantage in this war for talent.

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