Wisdom is a Smart Choice
“Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better
to be wise than to be smart.” – Alan Alda
Written by Ashley Sia, Intern /Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce
As a student aspiring to become a business administration major at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, I am often told how the college I choose to attend and my grade point average are a direct reflection of whether or not I will become a successful businesswoman in the future. Even though this is the standard that most of society holds, I have begun to question the validity of it.
Another indicator, which I strongly agree with, is leadership, but even then does being smart equate to being a good leader? Why is it that there are so many leaders and millionaires whose academic resumes reflect failure? Why is it that there are also an equal number of people who have earned PhDs who have stepped into roles of leadership only to do a lousy job? This is not to say that education is irrelevant, but simply surface level requirements that may not necessarily foreshadow a bright or dim future.
Daniel Goleman, an internationally-known psychologist, wrote an article called “What Makes a Leader?” In it, he describes a scale that goes beyond IQ called emotional intelligence. This deals with five components in personality that have been proven to lead to better performance in the business world.
The first trait is self-awareness. This is the ability to recognize your moods, emotions and attitudes and how they affect yourself, others and your work performance. This involves being very realistic and open in personal assessment. This may also be seen through self-confidence and a self-deprecating sense of humor. The second component to emotional intelligence is self-regulation, which is the ability to think before acting. It may sound simple but it is actually difficult. This means not making any impulsive decisions, whether out of happiness or anger. Qualities associated with this are trustworthiness, integrity and the openness to change. The third is motivation or passion. This doesn’t mean you have to love what you do, but you must do it with energy and persistence. Those with good motivation have a drive to achieve and are optimistic, even in times of failure. The fourth component to emotional intelligence is empathy and the ability to understand and know how to react to others’ emotions. This involves knowing how to treat employees, how to service clients and customers and requires the expertise to build and retain talent. The last trait necessary for emotional intelligence is social skill. This is the ability to manage relationships and build networks. Persuasiveness and expertise in building teams are essential to having social skill.
While many people are simply born with these traits, it is not impossible to learn them. It is proven that emotional intelligence increases with age, which we know as wisdom or maturity. For those who wish to seek more help in developing these components, it is best to find a coach or therapist that will help break old habits and establish new ones. Learning this will take time and dedication, but it can be done!
So, next time before you judge someone by their educational resume, get to know them and look for their emotional intelligence. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Important dates: Sept. 6 – Dine Out Night at Giuseppe’s Pizzeria; Sept. 14 – Foothills Community Business Expo at the Verdugo Hills Hospital; Sept. 24 – Running the Foothills 5K Walk/Run and Kids Fun Run at Two Strike Park.
Please call our office for more details on any event. How to reach us: (818) 248-4957 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.LaCrescenta.org / 3131 Foothill Blvd., Ste D.