J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Intelligence is More Than IQ

Intelligence is More Than IQ

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” -- Charles Darwin

That's one of my all-time favorite quotes because it's surprising.  It's not the smartest or the strongest, or even the fastest that survive ... it's the most flexible.

That says a lot about the value of agile and agility in today's world.  I think of agility as the ability to effectively respond to change.

Intelligence is valuable too, but not just raw smarts.  It's what you do with what you've got.  There are multiple flavors of intelligence, and they can help you survive and thrive in today's world.  Maybe you've heard of emotional intelligence, social intelligence, positive intelligence, or multiple intelligences?

I think how we look at our own intelligence can limit or enable us.  For example, if you don't think you're intelligent, then you might not try to do intelligent things.  For example, if you've defined intelligence in your own mind to mean something along the lines of "the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria", that singular view of intelligence might put a damper on how your view your own abilities (depending on how you scored on your IQ test.)

I wrote a post on What is Intelligence to elaborate and share what I've learned from Howard Gardner and his definition of intelligence.

I’d be curious on how your thoughts about intelligence have evolved and changed over the years, given how much of a premium people put on how smart you are.