Manilka Ediriweera knows what is needed for success in life and business

The ‘three Qs’ – comprising Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ) and AQ (Adversity or Adaptability Quotient) – are all thought to be crucial for success, in both life and business. For many years, IQ was widely acknowledged as one of the best ways to predict success in life and business, as well as a means to secure future job prospects. Then came EQ, and now more focus and importance are being placed on AQ.

IQ is the cognitive intelligence of individuals, and their ability to learn and understand. On the other hand, EQ is the ability to understand, assess and control one’s own emotions. While many of us have a certain level of understanding about IQ and EQ, AQ is a relatively new notion to many if not most of us.

AQ is the ability of individuals to face changes and hardships head-on while turning these hardships into opportunities. It helps people to adapt and prosper in a fast changing dynamic environment, and also involves resilience, prob-lem solving skills, curiosity, flexibility and courage. And
it consists of four dimensions that are used to measure the resilience of an individual – they include Control, Ownership, Reach and Endurance (CORE).

Which type of intelligence matters most – IQ, AQ or EQ? And which type of intelligence matters most in leadership?

These are some burning questions many people have at present.

It can be said that all three types of intelligence are crucial for success. And it has already been established that both IQ and EQ are essential to achieve success in life, as well as in the business world. However, more importance is being given to AQ at present, and it’s expected to grow as we move forward with continuous development and advancement in technology.

Resilience is a key determinant of growth and success in the business world. Given the exponential rate at which technology keeps changing, organisations must strive to learn at a faster pace. Besides, business strategies, structures, goals and objectives also change annually so the capacity to adapt to an environment of change is crucial.

Psychologists have noted that success in life depends 20 percent on IQ, and 80 percent on both EQ and AQ. An IBM study concludes that more than 5,000 executives globally rated behavioural skills as a crucial requirement for today’s workforce with the main requirement being ‘a willingness to be flexible, agile and adaptable to change.’ As a result, certain organisations have changed their existing hiring processes to recruit potential candidates with high AQ levels.

So how can we increase our AQ?

Since the fast-paced and dynamic nature of the current world calls for resilience, we should strive to increase our AQ. A model that will help improve our AQ is ‘Steps to Accountability,’ which is cited in the book titled The Oz Principle by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman.

An individual’s ability to adapt begins with accountability for a particular situation. The model below consists of four steps that will help people achieve this and consequently improve their AQ levels.

 SEE IT Acknowledge the required change and identify the need for it, prepare to make the change and manage it as candidly as possible.

OWN IT Take ownership of the situation and accept the fact that there will be hardships along the way.

SOLVE IT Develop an action plan to identify ways to help the process of adapting to change and inspire new solutions.

DO IT Execute the change, and be accountable to yourself and the team.

So which type of intelligence matters the most in leadership?

To grow and prosper as a successful leader, IQ, EQ and AQ are all crucial. The growing importance of AQ doesn’t mean that IQ and EQ aren’t important since each of these quotients offers something unique. Every leader requires IQ skills such as problem solving, memory power and analytical thinking.

EQ is essential for leaders since they need to have the ability to understand not only themselves but also their subordinates. This makes EQ a must-have quality in leaders.

Leaders should also possess high levels of AQ, and be ready to take a hit and get back up stronger than ever. Therefore, AQ too is crucial for the success of leaders; the more resilient they are, the more successful they will be. So it’s evident that each of these three types of intelligence is crucial for leadership success.

The future is fast approaching and ever-changing. As a result, all of us will have to adapt to these changes. Therefore, adaptability or AQ can be determined as a significant indicator of future success.

It’s necessary for an organisation to include this as a metric along with IQ and EQ, in the recruitment and selection processes, if it is to become a leader of change.