post # 403 — July 13, 2007 — a Managing post
Time for another book by someone associated with an executive recruiting firm. This time, itâ€™s EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE by Justin Menkes from Spencer Stuart.
Hereâ€™s Menkesâ€™ key findings (or assertions, according to taste):
Managerial work can be broken down into three subjects: accomplishing tasks, working with other people, and self-evaluation. Within each of these categories there are identifiable cognitive skills that determine how well an executive performs, such as:
- TASKS — the abilities to properly define a problem, identify the highest-priority issues, and assess both what is known and what needs to be known in order to render a sound decision.
- OTHERS — the abilities to recognize underlying agendas, understand multiple perspectives, and anticipate likely emotional reactions.
- SELF — the abilities to identify one’s own mistakes, encourage and seek out constructive criticism, and adjust one’s own behavior.
Though these cognitive skills play a profound role in determining a manager’s success, they are not what most employers focus on when recruiting or promoting executives. Instead, nearly everyone fixates on personality type, style, or other irrelevant characteristics.
The book is filled with quotes from famous, successful people, and is not shy about stating firm conclusions. For example: â€œNot one study has shown emotional intelligence to be a meaningful predictor of job performance beyond what has long been explained by other measures.â€
Menkes and his other consulting firm (MenkesStark) claim to have a proprietary approach to measuring what they call Executive Intelligence. I don’t buy everything he has to say, but it’s probably worth your $14.95 and the plane-ride time it will take to examine it.