Learning hinges on three things: IQ, EQ, and AQ. Independently, each of these qualities provides unique value. Together, they are a formula for success.
1.1 What Is Intelligence Quotient?
Your intelligence quotient (IQ) is a numerical score derived from standardized tests that assess your intelligence. The term comes from Germany and was coined by William Stern, a psychologist writing in the early 1900s. The score involves both a person’s “mental age score” and his/her performance on the test. The results are multiplied by 100 to obtain the IQ score. Roughly two-thirds of the population scores between 85 and 115. Less than 3 percent of the population scores above 130, and approximately the same percentage scores below 70. In other words, an IQ test measures a person’s aptitude (his/her intelligence).
For years, schools and employers subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) implied that having a high IQ was a positive indicator of future success. However, not all types of intelligence can be measured by one standardized test.
1.2 What Is Emotional Intelligence Quotient?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a term created by researchers Peter Salovey and John Mayer. Author and Rutgers psychologist Daniel Goleman subsequently brought it to a broader audience in his 1996 book titled Working with Emotional Intelligence. Your EQ is your ability not only to understand and manage your own emotions, but also to recognize, understand, and even influence emotions in other people.
EQ is divided into five categories:
5. Social skills
Self-awareness is how “clued in” you are to your own emotions and how they affect other people. It involves a recognition of your inner self; including your strengths and abilities.
Self-regulation, by contrast, is your ability to contain and control your emotions, where appropriate. A leader who possesses good self-regulation can stay calm, treat others with respect, avoid emotional outbursts, and work well under pressure.
Motivation is your drive to achieve your goals and the desire to hold your work to high standards.
Empathy is the ability to understand how others feel and how your words and actions affect the emotions of those with whom you interact.
Social skills encompass how you interact with other people, manage your communications with them, and resolve or preempt conflict.
EQ, in other words, explains the role emotions play in our lives. Goleman argued EQ, more so than IQ, was an indicator of future success and cited research from Harvard to back it up. More recent Harvard Business Review writings support this case.
1.3 What Is the Ambition QuotientTM (AQ)?
Even if we all agree having a reasonable IQ and developing an active EQ can help facilitate our success, we are overlooking something critical to success. The missing piece is the Ambition Quotient™, also called AQ. AQ is the driver, the determination and motivation inspiring you to get out of bed every day and achieve your dreams.
Smart people who can manage their emotions will find a level of success and may have a tremendous impact on the personal and professional development of others, but the one factor that will take them individually to the top is developing a strong AQ.
Think of AQ as cream rising to the top of the IQ-EQ-AQ equation. The cream is the sweetest part of the milk. While the milk itself is valuable and delicious, the cream takes value and delectability to a new level. This is what it means to embrace AQ. With a reasonable IQ and an active EQ, you will succeed. Developing a powerful AQ, however, will propel you to achieve excellence in all you do.
In short, your AQ is not something to be measured by standardized tests like your IQ. It can be reflected to some degree in your EQ. Your AQ lies in your ability to take your intelligence and emotional stability and translate them to a higher degree of success at home and at work, using your ambition.
We hear a lot about grit, persistence, and drive. AQ is all of those and more. It is the total of your IQ, EQ, grit, tenacity, and drive. The best part about AQ is: it does not happen at birth or genetically. It is learned. Learning is the key to growing and cultivating your AQ and being able to combine it with your IQ and EQ to make you and your employees highly successful.