Last week, Charles Murray, a societal researcher and the author of the book “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life“, published three articles in the Wall Street Journal on the importance of protecting and promoting the high-IQ members of society (part 1, part 2, part 3 )
His main thesis is that “Our future depends crucially on how we educate the next generation of people gifted with unusually high intelligence.“
I can agree that our education system needs to make room for high-intelligence children – or, as I prefer to see it, high-awareness children. In my high schooling here in Quebec in the mid-1970s, students were grouped into three streams, enriched (“enrichi”), regular (“régulier”) and remedial. I was in the enrichi group, which gave me more opportunities to discover and learn things that the régulier stream did not necessarily cover. I was also with classmates who also loved to learn. When my youngest brother started his high school, the streams were abolished in an attempt to “integrate” the classroom. My impression is that this had a negative effect on my brother – although I believe he is even more intelligent that me (I?), he simply lost his passion for learning, because there was little challenge there for him in that integrated environment.
Now, looking back, I wonder if I did better in school because of my “high intelligence” (I’ve never been tested…), or is it more because of my “high motivation“?
Have not read Dr. Murray’s original book (which seems to be quite controversial itself), but I’ve read the three articles listed above. The major objection I have with the Dr. Murray’s premise, is that if talent or intelligence were all that was needed to succeed, then we wouldn’t be seeing the disasters around us that threaten our planet’s very survival.
Developing analytical skills or providing a solid knowledge foundation seems to me to ignore the basic observation that all decisions come initially from emotion (the unconscious), then we search for the data to justify our decision (see previous post here)
All of the smarts in the world can’t make things happen if there is no impulse to move into action. This is the power of leadership: the ability to change one’s status quo into a new state that is an expression of Who You Really Are.
To me, leadership is independent of intelligence, and is a product of willing to go deep to find out the “who”, “what” and “why” of life (one’s mission, vision, and permission)
Do we want a society led by clones of Mr Spock? Or do we want a future shaped by “ordinary people doing extraordinary things“?
IQ gives one the ability to assimilate and use information. But IQ is simply a means… to what end? Developing one’s “LQ” (Leadership Quotient), anchored by mission, vision and permission, provides the context to put the IQ to use.
An interesting demonstration about the power of LQ over IQ is here. The author of the article, Seth Roberts, doesn’t call it such, but from the narrative, it’s evident that once a person finds their passion, discovers a way to express Who They Really Are, then their productivity, focus, and impact… their Leadership Quotient, rises sharply.