Is your boss Stupid?

Most successful business leaders get to their position because they are bright rather than Business Politicians. In the words of Yogi Bear – It’s because I’m smarter than the average bear.


It’s not a Yes or No question.

You may think so – but it is unlikely.

Sure, we all know someone who has risen through the ranks with little perceived talent other than being able to flatter, bootlick, suck up to the boss and probably put in many long but mainly ineffective hours in the office – I call them the “Business Politicians”. Strangely like most actual politicians, they tend to have a short lifecycle before they are eventually rumbled.

Most successful business leaders get to their position because they are bright rather than Business Politicians. In the words of Yogi Bear –   It’s because I’m smarter than the average bear.

So how bright should a great business leader be?

Apparently, not too bright!

I recently came across a project done some years ago by the University of Lausanne in Switzerland which conducted a study of 379 Managers in private companies to compare leadership effectiveness with IQ’s. You will not be surprised to learn that most of these Managers had an IQ of over 100 but leadership effectiveness started to decline in those with an IQ of over 120. Interestingly, those with an IQ of over 128 were the worst Managers. I wonder if that’s because they considered themselves to always be the ‘smartest in the room’ – never a great trait.

Great business leaders are continually learning and recognise they do not have a monopoly on good ideas, they are humble enough to listen to their superiors, their peers and their teams they are open-minded and prepared to be challenged and change their minds or their course of action, but they are rarely stupid. These are the types of Business Leaders we work with in our Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates.

So when filling leadership roles beware of appointing someone with an IQ above 120 who may not be able to communicate effectively, may be lacking in emotional intelligence and may not suffer fools gladly, which according to the Collins English dictionary means that they are not patient with people they think are stupid.

If you would like to know more about how we at Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates help leaders of established businesses progress through shared experiences, expertise and support, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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