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4 Reasons Struggling Students May Excel in Professional Leadership Positions

Categories: Disability Type, Learning Disabilities, Uncategorized


The original Binet Test was designed almost 100 years ago to identify which children would need more assistance in school. Since then, many have believed the false notion that success in school is directly correlated to greater success in life. This idea, however, has been widely debunked. In the 21st century, a new kind of intelligence is rising as the most likely predictor of overall success known as emotional intelligence. Here are 4 reasons why being book smart doesn't help you in business management nearly as much as emotional intelligence:

1. Sensitive to Personal Interactions

In its simplest definition, emotional intelligence is your ability to ‘read a room.’ If you've ever walked into a room directly after two people have been engaged in a heated argument, you know there is an almost palpable tension that can be felt when emotions are high. When emotions are high enough, they can be felt by almost everyone, but people with high EQ's (emotional quotient) can feel the slightest shock wave or tremor of emotion. This ability can be invaluable while running a business.

2. Get the Best from People

Manager with Whistle

What we now call emotional intelligence is possibly what was once called ‘street smarts.’ Emotionally intelligent people know how to motivate others to get the best from them. They realize that being hard on one employee may help that employee give their best, but a softer touch is needed for another employee to thrive.

3. See People as They Really Are

People with high EQ's know before everyone else when two people are interested in each other. They know when people are being fake, and they know when people are putting on a brave face to hide their unhappiness. When it comes time to hire, fire, promote or move laterally, this understanding is invaluable.

4. Acquire the Best Deals for Your Business

business people shaking handsStreet-smart, savvy people know how to work deals with others to create mutually beneficial outcomes. They know what they have that others want and they know how to leverage that to get what they need. This makes them sharp wheeler-dealers that can gain the best outcomes for their business.

Having average or even failing grades in school doesn’t prohibit anyone from being successful unless they let it. The only thing that stops less book-smart individuals from being successful is their own lack of belief in themselves. Like Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.” Get out there and believe in yourself.

Photo of ClaireAbout the Author: Claire Stewart is a freelance writer and blogger focused on writing about health, travel, and business among other topics. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelors in Women’s Studies and currently lives in Seattle with her goldfish, Merlin.