How do you acquire enough money to underwrite financial independence? Recall the iconic commercial, “Smith Barney makes money the old-fashioned way — we earn it!” You may inherit money or win some, but most likely you’ll have to garner financial wellbeing the old-fashioned way — earn it!
What career and what role best suits your unique abilities, God-given talents, IQ and personality? Increasingly, human resource and placement professionals, career and business coaches, and school and college guidance counselors are turning to various assessments to increase the odds of success in a career path, field of study, job or role within an organization. Humans are complex beings, and no one assessment can provide all the insight needed to chart a path. Some resist the use of assessments, thinking that “pigeonholing” an individual is wrong. However, the science of assessments has come a long way and is uncannily accurate in what it can tell a person about the “right fit” career-wise.
IQ is your intelligence quotient, the ability to know, think, process. Much of that is reflected in your levels of educational or other achievement over the years. EQ is emotional quotient, the “affective” part of your being — personality, feeling, emotion, mood, motivation, self-awareness, empathy, social skills.
Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers were pioneers in probing personality as a success metric. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the world’s most popular personality assessment.
But there is far more to success and earning power than just IQ and EQ. In her book, “The Conative Connection: Uncovering the Link Between Who You Are and How You Perform” (Kolbe.com), Kathy Kolbe noted, “Too often, potential is discussed in terms of its limitations: intelligence, education, experience. Yet we have all seen instances where those with average IQ scores outshine geniuses in common-sense problem solving.”
The difference, she says, is “conation.” Conation is a third part of your mind, your knack for getting things done, declares Kolbe, separate from intelligence or personality type.
It takes a combination of assessments and coaching conversations to get a true picture of your most likely path to success and personal satisfaction, what will motivate you, light your fire! A study of Harvard graduates in business, law, medicine and teaching showed a negative to zero correlation between IQ as indicated by entrance exam scores and subsequent career success.
Psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success, IQ counts for about 10%, at best 25%. The rest comes from affective traits and conation!
How accurate are these assessments? This writer has completed a Kolbe assessment and the Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder which measure primarily conative characteristics. I have taken variations of Myers-Briggs, including the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, that helps you to better understand yourself and others. For those familiar with the foregoing, my Kolbe is 5-3-10-1. My top 5 talent themes on Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder are Maximizer, Input, Achiever, Strategic, Activator. On Keirsey I’m an ENTP, a Rational Inventor. These characteristics indicate a likelihood of self-employment, versus corporate or government employment. Upon completing these assessments, it was clear why I’ve been a self-employed entrepreneur since 1976.
Follow the herd and you may end up at the slaughterhouse. How unique are you? Per Gallup, the chances of someone having the same Top 5 Talent Themes as you, but in a different order, are 1 in 340,000. The odds of having the same Top 5 in the same order are 1 in 33 million.
Says Gallup, “Think of your results as being as unique as your fingerprints.”
Keirsey details how common or specific your personality type is among the 16 types. For example, Rational Inventor is one of the rarer types, 3% of the general population, 4% of men, 3% of women.
If you’re a young person making decisions about education or training, selection of a college or major, wouldn’t you want to know your personality type, your talent themes, where you are from an affective and conative standpoint relative to the educational and career path best suited to you? Learning where you are most likely to find motivation, happiness, purpose, and success? Ditto as you traverse life’s path relative to ongoing career moves, challenges and life transitions, marriage, family, stewardship and God’s callings, even finding purpose and energy in retirement. Assessments will provide priceless insight.
Assessments are particularly useful in building effective teams, putting people together in complementary synergism. For closely held business owners and key people in any endeavor planning succession, using assessments and coaching to build teams is key to value creation and acceleration. You not only want to get people on the right bus going to the right destination, but in the right seat. And, get the wrong people off the bus. (Jim Collins, “Good to Great”).
Coaching doesn’t cost…it pays!
Lewis Walker, CFP®, is a financial life planning strategist at Capital Insight Group; 770-441-3553; email@example.com. Securities & advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (SFA).
Lewis is a registered representative and investment adviser representative of SFA, otherwise unaffiliated with Capital Insight Group. He’s a Gallup Certified Clifton Strengths Coach and Certified Exit Planning Advisor.