Born to do Math 79 - 128+ IQs Lead to Worse Leadership
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
March 22, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We were talking off-tape on IQ and a World Economic Forum article on the diminishing returns of intelligence on leadership. It seems interesting, where beyond 128 the leadership can be worse. Can you expound on our points a bit?
Interviewee: Yes, for one, you have to preface anything that involves IQ by saying IQ is a sucky measure of intelligence. Though, there isn’t a better one. Using reasonable assumptions, 111 is in the neighborhood of the average high school graduate. It is not that high.
Also, the average IQ for people walking around is also about 100, 105, 106, because people with IQs at the low end are not walking around. They are in institutions, riding short buses. However, anyway, it is hard to tell exactly how they set up their 100.
There are points of comparison. In other words, what’s the phenomena, e.g. leadership? It is crazy how low that is. 128 isn’t even high enough to get into MENSA, and MENSA is the sluttiest, one of the sluttiest IQ groups.
Almost anybody, if they try can get into MENSA, the average leader who has risen to 128 and, thus, become less effective because leadership peaked at 120. The one who has already gone over the hill and down the other side still cannot get into MENSA.
However, I’ll start with saying my wife worked at a bunch of companies that were mid-level companies. She worked for some big ass companies too. Until she had her current job at a school; she never had a job she liked, largely because a large percentage of the people around her were a-holes.
In fact, when you look at the stereotypical mid-level manager as presented in movies and sitcoms, there is always at least one jerk to propel the strife and the comedy. The Michael Scott character in The Office.
Everybody else in The Office was a sap in one way or other. That may reflect a certain reality that mid-levels of leadership, the people who end up in those positions maybe suck, maybe the organizations that they are leading suck.
Because they are made up of people who are them, then when you get to higher levels, where leadership skills are even worse at IQs at 128, it may be because people with IQs at 128 suck even more than people with IQs at 120.
Because I mean one they might be Aspergery or they might be conceited dickheads or over confident, pricks. Because you also said that these were mostly guys, too, right? Alright, so did this study do comparisons across gender?
They were on IQ is what you are saying. I have seen other studies that show that happiness and success and leadership, all that stuff does reach a peak, and then start declining before IQ reaches a limit.
The studies I have seen, it is more around 140. Or maybe I assumed that. There are plenty of reasons for that. The reasons we’ve mentioned—dickishness and overconfidence. However, there are also, as you get up above 140 and stuff, the smart people can be, or people who are good at IQ tests, which isn’t necessarily the same thing, can be distracted by the butterflies of weird intellectual pursuits.
It is easier for super smart people to chase off after their curiosity about the world, which may overwhelm or their ability to figure out stuff may overwhelm their ability to stay on track. That could be the one way that society.
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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