Looking at modern society, it’s clear that many people have experienced failure in life, yet others seem to achieve success in everything they do.  A close look at the factors that make a difference between success and failure yields some interesting results.  For example, Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Professor of Learning Development at Yale University, is researching how to train executives to identify individuals who think outside-the-box, but do not necessarily perform well on standardized tests.  That’s just one example of non-conventional characteristics that could potentially correlate with success in life.  Here are a few more cases that just might surprise you.

Case Studies

Julie Logan, a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Cass Business in London, believes there is a connection between rejection and creativity.  She claims this fact may be the reason why 35% of all entrepreneurs in the U.S. show signs of dyslexia.  The reason being, these individuals learned coping skills as children which serve them well as entrepreneurs.

James LeVoy Sorenson is a name you may not recognize, but he has had a tremendous impact on our lives.  When James was a young boy he was told by his elementary school teacher that he was either slow-witted or developmentally disabled.  He later dropped out of community college.  But James says his learning difficulties caused him to be persistent.  “I like to add one word to the end of my sentences – YET.”  Instead of saying “I can’t do it,” he says, “I can’t do it yet.”  James’ persistent attitude led him to develop more than 40 medical patents.  For example, he invented the first computerized heart monitor, the first disposable paper surgical mask, and the first blood recycling system for trauma surgical procedures.

Source:  Why Dyslexics Make Great Entrepreneurs.  Gabrielle Coppola, Business Week, Dec. 2007.

Emotional Intelligence Hard at Work

I could go on for hours with more studies like these, but it doesn’t mean much unless we address the common theme running between them.  People who succeed against all odds are using a different set of success skills that enable them to think outside the box.  This skill set is known as emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a learned ability to identify, experience, understand, and express human emotions in healthy and productive ways.  Emotional intelligence skills are primary factors of motivation and the gateway to lifelong learning and high levels of success and achievement (Low, Gary and Nelson, Darwin, Understanding and Improving Emotional Skills, Kingsville: Texas A&M University, 1999).

Emotional intelligence skills are also a crucial element in anger management.  Research shows that a lack of anger management skills is directly related to a lack of key emotional intelligence skills such as Interpersonal Assertion, Empathy and Stress Management.  These three skills are skills represented in both our Personal Skills Map™ and our Anger Management Map™.

EQ in the Classroom

The concept of emotional intelligence is forcing our educational establishments to re-think what is important for achieving success.  No longer are the traditional academic skills king.  The practicality and realistic value of social emotional skills are far more important to success later on in life, and our school systems must recognize this.
We now have a better understanding of how individuals learn to manage their behavior and achieve success.  Here are five basic truths about emotional intelligence and achievement.

  1. EQ is the single most important variable in learning to manage one’s behaviors and success.
  2. EQ is a learned ability that requires a systematic experience-based approach to learning.
  3. Schools and colleges do not currently provide a systematic-based model to learn EQ.
  4. Learning EQ requires an intentional, active, learner-centered approach involving self-directed teaching, coaching, mentoring and constant visualization.
  5. EQ consists of specific skills, behaviors and attitudes that can be assessed and taught.

Source:  Low, Gary and Nelson, Darwin.  Emotional Intelligence – Achieving Academic and Career Excellence, Denver, Prentice Hall, 2002.

These five concepts are the foundation for a tipping point in our education system.  We know that we can and should educate individuals on how to change behaviors to produce success.

Visit our blog weekly for more articles about how the Conover Assessment™ products can provide you with keys to achieving success in your business.  Our evidence-based, research-based assessment and skill-building systems can provide your practice with the credibility demanded in today’s results-oriented society.

“The gold standard in emotional intelligence.” SM