What is the Executive Intelligence?
According to Justin Menkes, executive intelligence is the ability to digest, often with the help of others, large amounts of information in order to form important decisions.
Menkes says, "Personality is not a differentiator of star talent. It is an individual's facility for clear thinking or intelligence that largely determines their leadership success."
What do you think is the relative importance of executive intelligence, style, and personality in effective leaders?
Stephen Burkett said: "… I find that the core of the issue remains the definition of executive intelligence … Executive intelligence is less about number-crunching power or one's grasp of advanced concepts, and more about evaluating situations and taking appropriate action." Quinton van Eeden added, "Executive intelligence seems to be the sum of the parts—emotional intelligence, IQ, personality, values, and experience … A demonstration of executive intelligence must lie in the demonstrable ability to act and execute." Paul Jackson took us to the next step in commenting, "Once defined, how do we measure executive intelligence? Once measured, how do we assess its impact or usefulness?" And, we might add, how do we incorporate it into our everyday assessment of potential or actual leadership talent?
There was a full range of opinions regarding the importance of EI, perhaps in part due to the breadth with which the term was defined in each case. For example, Rowland Freeman opined, "Intelligence is of value, but more important is demonstrated common sense. Some of the most intelligent leaders I have known were failures at leadership." As Malvin Bernal put it, "Executive intelligence will only guarantee a sound processing of information that produces decisions … Execution is the basic ingredient that makes a great leader." On the other hand, Philip Derrow argued, "Executive intelligence, particularly as Mr. Menkes defines it, is, I believe, the most important component for long-term leadership effectiveness … Three words that best describe effective people in any organization: smart and happy. Both the order and the conjunction are important . . . ." Harry Tucci went even further, saying: "The concept of executive intelligence is a very useful measure of success … When it comes to meeting earnings and Street expectations I'll take the manager with his nose deep in a book any day".