Do Over Smart People Make Bad Leaders?

Do Over Smart People Make Bad Leaders?

RECEP KARACA
RECEP KARACA
19 August 2019 Monday 16:20
601 Reads
Do Over Smart People Make Bad Leaders?

There have been various challenges and competitions throughout life, right from choosing your first coaching class to getting selected at your dream company.You may have invested enough time in educating yourself, spent numerous hours taking your  online class or probably been smart enough to hire an online class taker instead. The consequence of it is that you have a whole stack of degrees and certificates that prove you are a smart person.

When you ask most people about the qualities a leader should possess, you will hear things like:

  • Integrity.
  • Visionary skills.
  • Great communication skills.
  • Sense of humour.
  • Confidence.
  • Creativity.
  • Commitment.
  • Positive attitude.
  • People skills.
  • Intuition and many more.

A huge percentage of respondents are also bound to include intelligence as a must-have quality for leaders. New research, however, disputes this saying that people who are too smart do not make the best of leaders?

Who is considered to be too smart?

A highly intelligent person typically has an IQ that is above 120. Most people normally score between 85 -115.

Which study reveals that individuals who are too smart do not make good leaders?

A study done by researchers at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. It states that having a very high IQ is not a strong point in regards to leadership.

The academics wanted to test the hypothesis which implies that the brightest people end up making the best leaders. They documented the results in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

How was the study conducted?

The researchers worked with 379 middle managers from different companies. The professionals hailed from 30 countries a majority European. They were working in different industries including retail, telecom, and hospitality.

The managers were followed for a period of 6 years where their leadership styles were subject to periodical evaluation.

Researchers spread the scores of the test aforementioned across a spectrum. They then matched the results with a Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. This seeks to weigh a certain leadership style and its level of effectiveness. There were around 7-8 people who were evaluating one manager.

What did the study reveal?

Worth noting is that researchers were primarily focusing on intelligence and personality as indicators of the effectiveness of a leader. The uncovered that higher IQ contributed to better relationships. This was up until a leaders IQ was recorded to be above 120. It was revealed that leaders who had an IQ of more than 128 were less effective.

Another revelation of the study was that females tend to express more effective leadership styles. About 26% of the managers were ladies. The older managers also scored highly in this sector although to a lesser extent than women.

What is the key takeaway of the study?

The study educates individuals on the importance of balance. While intelligence is an essential trait of leadership, it only benefits leaders when they are able to balance this with other parts of their personalities. This includes things like charisma and agreeableness.

Reasons The Smartest Leaders End up Doing a Sub-Standard Job

The study also went ahead to list down some of the reasons why the smartest leaders often fail to reach the team they are working with and these include:

I. Team Members Fail to Grasp Instructions

This is because leaders who are too smart often put across plans that are too sophisticated for their subordinates. This means that the people who are supposed to execute these

plans end up not understanding what they are supposed to do.

II. Complex Communication Styles

Another issue that arose was that leaders who have high IQ are known to employ intricate communication styles while trying to pass the message they want. They usually lack the skills that are needed to simplify tasks and struggle to comprehend why other people find some things challenging or difficult. This is a huge mistake because these end up not influencing the people who are under the leader.

III. Leaders who are too smart are not relatable

Most people will want to stay away from a person who comes off as being too intelligent. They end up feeling like the leader is not part of the group; thus, sets him apart from the people. This makes it very difficult for teammates to collaborate well with the intelligent leader.

As a conclusion, it would be ideal to have leaders who are not only intelligent but they showcase other leadership traits that will help them do an excellent job without too many complaints.

Updated: 24.08.2019 07:02
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