We mentioned in Project Management Training that IQ – “intellectual competence” - is also necessary for project managers. For completeness, we need to examine this further.
Here’s the definition of the IQ leadership competence as proposed by Dulewicz and Higgs (2003):
- Critical Analysis and judgment
- Vision and imagination
- Strategic perspective
We should mention here that IQ (leadership competence) is different to IQ (intelligence quotient) that some of us were subjected to at school. An intelligence quotient is a score from one of several different tests attempting to measure a person’s intelligence. We won’t tackle the debate about whether it is desirable, or even possible to accurately define someone’s intelligence. The IQ’s of a large number of people can be modeled with a Normal Distribution, around the figure of 100.
The American Psychological Association’s report Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns states that other individual characteristics such as interpersonal skills, aspects of personality etc. are probably of equal or greater importance than IQ.
Others have argued that IQ is the best tool to help figure out who to hire at any career stage as it is independent of experience, personality bias or any formal training the subject has acquired.
Here at EPM Training Services we believe that Intelligence Quotient is another tool that can help us in certain limited circumstances, and should be used with care. IQ tests might not be appropriate in today’s multicultural societies, as they measure what white middle-class academics regard as intelligence. Performance in them may simply measure length of time spent in education.
Moving back to Intellectual Competence:
Critical Analysis and judgment might involve determining the meaning and significance of what is observed or expressed, and determining whether there is adequate justification to accept a particular conclusion as true.
Vision and imagination can involve the ability to see mental images in your mind of something that exists, and also the ability to imagine objects, situations or circumstances that do not exist now. Imagination involves all the five senses of sight, sound, taste, smell or touch.
Strategic perspective involves developing a long-term, broad-based perspective on successful project initiatives, and converting the vision into an action plan. The project manager also needs to revises the strategy in the light of changing circumstances.
We’ll also mention a few general details about intelligence, gathered from various psychology text-books:
- Intelligence reaches a peak around the age of 30 (Wechsler, 1955).
- Older generations inevitably have lower general intelligence due to poorer diet. People today are smarter (Schaie, 1983).
- (Talland, 1968) found that participants aged 77 to 89 remembered less than half the number of items that a 20-25 year old age group could recall on a short-term memory test.
- (Kimmel, 1990) suggested that older people show highly competent memory skills in areas such as long-term recall or expert memory skills.
We recommend enhancing your intellectual competence by keeping active, healthy, and empowering yourself by gaining knowledge from books, the internet, and attending relevant training courses.