A recent study
of more than 50,000 respondents reveals that success can be elusive for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Only one-third are mentally, emotionally, and socially equipped to create a successful business. Entrepreneurs need high levels of social intelligence. You’ve heard of IQ and emotional intelligence or EQ. Social intelligence or SQ is the new wave of neuroscience sweeping the world. Without it, you will never reach your full entrepreneurial potential.
However, currently, only 33 percent of entrepreneurs have high social intelligence. They are happier, more optimistic, more confident, and more engaged than anyone else.
They are urban dwellers with 71 percent living in capital cities. They are also younger – 61 percent are aged between 18 and 49. And they’re well educated with half having a university qualification.
If this sounds like you, let’s check a few more features:
Do you look for new experiences every day? Are you optimistic about the future? Do you believe in taking risks? Are you more outgoing than introverted? Do you like physical activity? Is success important to you?
If these characteristics describe you, chances are you’re set for success.
If not, don’t worry. Social intelligence is not like regular intelligence (IQ) – anyone, even if you’re an entrepreneur with low social intelligence, can lift their social intelligence quotient (SQ). You can improve your potential for success.
It is social intelligence or the richness of our life, rather than our IQ, that truly makes successful entrepreneurs what they are. For example, it can help predict how people will behave given a particular set of circumstances. It also gives us the ability to understand the effect others have on us and the ability to understand that others’ reactions may differ from our own, based upon their own set of life experiences and events.
Social intelligence is a measure of self and social awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social environments and change – nowhere is this more vital than in entrepreneurial success.
It’s not enough to be clever. Chimpanzees, for example, are very clever at the level of being able to make observations and remember things. Remarkably, their memory is better than humans, but they are inept at handling interpersonal relationships.
So, something else is needed. And that is an understanding of how people work from the inside.
Scientists used to believe they could understand human beings, rats, pigeons, and primates by just watching what goes on, and writing it all down. It turns out they were wrong – this simply doesn’t work. What does work is understanding what predicts and drives our behaviour, not just behaviour itself.
Social intelligence is pivotal to successful social behaviour. And successful social behaviour is pivotal in managing the complexity of a highly competitive marketplace.
Therefore, measuring IQ or emotional intelligence (EQ) is no longer enough. In the search to find the true entrepreneurial self, you need to lift yourself to peak ability. You need to lift your social intelligence. Then you can broaden and build creativity; fuel your optimism; find resilience and “grit”; bring your personal strengths to the forefront of your own efforts; create flourishing relationships, and unlock a massive 30 percent greater productivity.