I’m all for brains. We need smarter people in all walks of life. I worked hard to get a Ph.D. because I believe in the power of intelligence. But I wonder if we sometimes get so distracted by trying to be the “smartest guy in the room” that we forget real leadership isn’t all about brains. Look at the people around you right now – chances are, if the building caught on fire, the person who stepped up to keep everyone calm, organize them, and lead them safely out won’t be the
smartest person in the crowd.
Jack Graham shared some very interesting numbers with me the other day:
50% of CEO’s were C or C minus students
65% U.S. Senators were in the bottom half of their class
75% of U.S. Presidents were in the lower half of their graduating class
50% of millionaires never finished college
When it comes to leadership, it’s not just about intelligence. After all, many college faculties are filled with brilliant people who will accomplish very little in their lives. When it comes to leadership, never forget character, competence, chemistry, and passion.
Passion and commitment fuel your purpose – not just intelligence.