Business coach Nicole Lapin on why IQ is not a predictor of success

Business coach Nicole Lapin on why IQ is not a predictor of success

Image credit: Nicole Lapin.

Genetics isn’t forgiving when it comes to inherent intelligence. Luckily, the hereditary luck of the draw may find a loophole in Emotional Intelligence (EQ). When it comes to career success, studies have proven time and time again that IQ means very little. According to Daniel Goleman the psychologist that coined the name, emotional intelligence accounts for nearly 90 per cent of what moves people up the ladder when IQ and technical skills are roughly similar (talk about a bode of confidence for the intellectually destitute).

It may not be surprising that EQ has become a hype word in the vernacular of every business-savvy person. What is emotional intelligence? Simply defined, it’s an individual’s ability to recognise, understand, and influence the emotions of others, especially when we are under pressure. High emotional intelligence is one of the best-known indicators of job performance and is known to accurately predict job performance beyond cognitive ability.

Emotional Intelligence is a concept financial advisor and former CNN anchor Nicole Lapin writes about in her book Becoming Super Woman. In it, Lapin champions a formula in which EQ and mental wellness, when applied together, actuate career success. This, among other savvy financial know-how, makes up the premise of Lapin’s book — a rallying cry for a millennial subset that has supplemented work for health.

Lapin shares the impetus for writing her latest book — an incident that landed her in the hospital. Lapin had always been precocious since landing a job at Fox Business News when she was 18. At 21 she would land a role as the lead news anchor at CNN, and then at CNBC. After that, her first book landed her on the New York Times bestseller list. Although her career success was expedient, Lapin recalls feeling like it was “never enough”.

Following the launch of her second book, Lapin experienced the all too ubiquitous effects of burnout. In her book, she likens the breakdown to, “a spontaneous com­bustion precipitated by a single event as a lifetime of smoldering embers finally catching fire—and inciner­ating everything in their path”. After spending weeks in the hospital, Lapin came to the sobering revelation that mental health and ‘fitness’ come before career success. As Lapin advises, “you have to put your oxygen mask on before helping others”.

Now a powerhouse financial consultant, author, and podcast host of ‘Hush Money’, Lapin said she feels far more in control of her career than she had before she prioritised her mental wellbeing.

Below, Lapin shares her emotional competence roadmap as it applies to budget, balance, and mental ‘fitness’:

Business coach Nicole Lapin on why IQ is not a predictor of success

Image credit: Nicole Lapin.

On becoming mentally ‘fit’

“While I’ve always advocated for networking and other career skills, I’ve more recently come to understand the importance of this mental fitness. In my previous two books, I break down the three Fs: Family, Fitness, and Fun.

“When I talk about Fitness, I mean both mental and physical. When you neglect fitness for too long it takes over your entire life. I came up with a point system, where one point must always be given to prioritising emotional wellness.

Lapin’s essential formula for developing emotional wellness: 

Emotional intelligence + mental wellness = emotional wellness.

“Emotional wellness can be your greatest asset or your greatest liability—especially when it comes to your career. In other words, having it can foster your success and lacking it can destroy it.

“If you look at studies around EQ and IQ, the biggest correlation between success and career ability is actually EQ. It’s very difficult to change your IQ, it’s very easy to change your EQ.

“Emotional wellness is a combination of emotional intelligence and mental wellness. You need a combination of both mental wellness and EQ in order to have success in your career. It can be your biggest asset or biggest liability. When it’s off it can bring you to rock bottom, like it did for me.

“However, when handled correctly, it can bring you more success than you can imagine.”

On mastering the two ‘B’s: Balance and Budget

“I realised that money is a language, we just don’t have a Rosetta Stone for it. I’m the least likely person to become a money expert, or speak the language of money, much less speak it to the world.

“You need to subscribe to your own idea of balance. I look at balance not as a noun but as a verb. As a verb, it’s something you always have to work on. Without that, burnout is inevitable. Both burnout and balance look different for everybody. But to say you’re off-balance, to begin with you have to have already predicated what that definition means for you in relation to your own life circumstances.

“The same can be applied to budgeting. When people tell me they’re off budget I ask them to tell me if they even had a budget to begin with. It’s really important to set that benchmark. As you continue to move that goal post, it’s hard to get your brain to the other side of balance or happiness.”


This article was written by Meghan Ingraham and originally published on The Ladders.

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