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But the most crucial predictor of executive success has nothing to do with personality or style. How can hiring managers flag individuals with such smarts? Historically, the only reliable measure of brainpower has been the standard IQ test, which is rarely used in business settings because of the specific subjects it tests for—math, reading, and spatial reasoning—and because of its multiple-choice format.
Despite its shortcomings, the standard IQ test is still a better predictor of managerial success than any other assessment tool companies currently use, Justin Menkes argues. He describes how to formulate questions to test job candidates for their mastery of these subjects, offering several examples based on real situations. Knowledge questions, such as those used in standard behavioral interviews, require people to recite what they have learned or experienced; intelligence questions call for individuals to demonstrate their abilities.
And the questions should not be designed to ask whether the candidate has a particular skill; they should be configured so that the candidate will have to demonstrate that skill in the course of answering them.
How could they recognize such smarts? Historically, the only reliable measure of such brainpower has been the standard IQ test, which, for good reasons, is rarely used in business settings.
They have dismissed the one method that could help them identify business stars. Of course, there are many academically brilliant people who might score in the genius range on an IQ test but who could never make it as the CEO of a Fortune company. That is, to accurately forecast how successful someone will be in a particular activity, you must examine the cognitive skills he or she possesses that directly affect that activity—in this case, in the workplace rather than in the classroom.
For many years, management scholars and practitioners have acknowledged that business leaders must be able to think critically.
The upright powered vehicle was heralded by its inventors as the catalyst for a revolution in human mobility. But despite the hype, the Segway got a lukewarm reception from consumers and has not transformed urban transportation. Could the inventors have anticipated this outcome? The motorized scooter has been around for a while, is functionally similar to the Segway, and sells for a fraction of the cost. Yet motor scooters have not been widely adopted, and cities have not altered their infrastructures to accommodate this mode of transportation.
So why would the Segway succeed where the scooter has failed? The Segway has two advantages over the scooter: Users can stand and balance completely upright while the transporter is moving or stopped, and they can go backward. The basic question remains, though: Did the lack of these two features keep the scooter from being more widely adopted?
If not, there is little reason to anticipate any greater demand for the Segway than there has been for the scooter.
The Segway is fun. But is it worth the cost? Not according to the market. The minds behind the Segway may be sophisticated and technologically brilliant, but they appear to be somewhat naive when it comes to business. Perhaps their excitement over the technology clouded their ability to challenge their market assumptions to any significant degree. To hire potential business stars, we need to understand the basic attributes that lead individuals to make good or bad decisions.
We need to understand what constitutes executive intelligence. Similarly, we can identify the subjects of executive work and the distinct set of aptitudes that a manager must be able to demonstrate in each. When Alfred Binet was commissioned years ago to create a measure of academic intelligence, he identified the school subjects that students needed to learn, such as arithmetic and language.
While we accept that there is a set of cognitive skills that constitute academic intelligence, until now we have assumed that there is no such thing as intelligence unique to executives—that no distinctive set of cognitive skills determines business or leadership aptitude.
Yet, given the research, a defined set of cognitive skills clearly exists. What was needed was a test that could isolate these skills. These three broad categories cover all managerial responsibilities. For instance, making strategy decisions, determining business focus, providing direction, and implementing new initiatives all require the cognitive skills necessary to accomplish tasks.
Anticipating and managing conflicts, leading teams, and handling customers and investors all require cognitive skills regarding relationships with people.
Next, I pulled together a list of the cognitive skills that had been cited by the most respected management scientists as being essential to effective leadership. Though the list was long, it was clear there was some repetition and overlap, so I needed to identify core aptitudes.
I sorted the skills, and, interestingly, all of them fell naturally into the three categories. This confirmed that the three basic subjects of executive work were an accurate representation of real-world leadership. All of the cognitive skills determine how well someone gathers, processes, and applies information in order to identify the best way to reach a particular goal or navigate a complex situation.
In other words, these are the skills that allow someone to achieve the highest level of critical thinking in the workplace. To validate this theory of executive intelligence, I tested it against real-world executive performance, and a pattern became obvious: Star executives consistently outperformed their peers on these cognitive skills. Though most executives possess strong skills in one or two of the three subject categories, the stars of the business world show exceptional ability in all three.
In this subject, intelligent executives make decisions using a set of six core cognitive skills. Among them are critically examining underlying assumptions and identifying probable unintended consequences. In the s, General Motors was losing market share to its more efficient Japanese competitors, and, at the same time, it was struggling with terrible labor relations.
Yet its market share and plant productivity continued to decline every year following automation. To Smith, automation had seemed like such a logical move and, obviously, such high-risk initiatives are very difficult to undertake. But Smith demonstrated a severe lack of executive intelligence in his analysis. First, he failed to question his underlying assumption that more robots equals cheaper cars.
A review of readily available data would have revealed that machines entail huge capital expenses and call for highly skilled support technicians. Had Smith more skillfully analyzed the situation, he might still have chosen to invest in automation, but he could have done so in a way that maximized his chances for success.
By contrast, when D. Grossman was charged with helping the company profitably produce and market its flagship product, a ventricular assist device for recovery from open-heart surgery. Thoratec was competing with large, global companies that were focused not just on a single device but on whole diseases, combining drugs and devices. Thoratec could never hope to compete with companies offering vast and integrated product lines. To succeed, Grossman concluded, the company would have to gain scale, either by acquiring another company or by being acquired.
Today, Thoratec is a thriving, highly profitable company with a virtual monopoly in its medical niche. Former Boeing CEO Phil Condit, who was blindsided by a series of public scandals, seemed to be lacking these aptitudes.
While no evidence links Condit to the managerial mistakes and ethical lapses that ultimately prompted him to resign from his post several years ago, he failed to recognize how far some of his salespeople might go to meet their numbers.
Specifically, he never understood that their underlying agendas could compromise their ethics. Senior members of his team became involved in highly questionable dealings—practices that a more socially aware CEO would have discovered and stopped early on. Further, Condit never appropriately considered the probable effects of his actions as he allowed his salespeople to police themselves.
Ultimately, the short-term financial gains that the sales team generated were dramatically eclipsed by the costs to Boeing—in both money and reputation. And Johnson considered the probable effects of a battle with the insurance giant.
The two companies were at odds for approximately three months but ultimately resolved their differences and were able to create the foundation for a solid long-term relationship. Effective executives need to be able to cast a critical eye on their thinking and behavior. Failure to do this can leave a company highly vulnerable to changes in the marketplace.
Just six years later, it was in such bad shape that it was acquired by turnaround specialist Newell Manufacturing Company. What happened? And he steadfastly ignored his team, which tried to explain the changes in the market. Schmitt maintained that customers just needed to be educated about why price increases were necessary. His inability to look critically at his own biases and limitations led him to devalue the essential information that others were trying to provide.
Now look at how another CEO more skillfully addressed his own significant oversights. Cedars-Sinai president and CEO Tom Priselac had made a special effort in his year tenure at the health care organization to establish and maintain personal relationships with managers and staff. He prided himself on these connections. Union recruiters had taken advantage of a growing animosity and a lack of trust between the nursing staff and the administration.
Priselac began an aggressive organizationwide initiative to figure out how the executive team, managers, and staff had grown so far apart—and he insisted that the effort focus on how his own actions had contributed to this rift, despite what he thought were his best efforts to the contrary.
Priselac began meeting with directors, managers, and employees one-on-one and in small groups much more frequently. By late , the union that had been attempting to represent the nurses had withdrawn its petition. How did Priselac engineer such an impressive turnaround? He actively sought and used information that revealed errors in his judgment. His response to the union effort explicitly focused on his own role in creating a breach with employees.
And Priselac looked critically at the limitations in his own perspective—namely, how he had unintentionally become isolated. What do Grossman, Johnson, and Priselac have in common? They faced very different business problems, but each arrived at a solution through the application of certain cognitive skills.
These are not the skills you pick up in business schools or executive training programs. Those institutions provide useful techniques for decision making, but most executives have access to all the same tools, and even the best problem-solving models require sharp thinking if they are to be applied effectively.
Making sound business decisions requires a form of intelligence—an organic, adaptive, ever-evolving set of cognitive skills. Although IQ tests were not originally intended for use in business, studies have shown that these instruments predict work performance at least as well as competency interviews do the most common assessment tool used today for hiring and promotion and about ten times better than personality tests do.
IQ tests predict work performance at least as well as competency interviews do and about ten times better than personality tests do. Yet IQ testing is not widely used as a way to identify top talent though it plays an indirect role, as companies may choose to hire people with degrees from elite schools.
Some of the skills measured—such as vocabulary, arithmetic, and spatial reasoning—have almost no relevance to managerial work. Moreover, the topics tested would seem academic and elementary—indeed, almost insulting—to people with extensive professional experience. The format is also ill suited to business. Executives rarely if ever confront problems that have just one right answer; nor do they have the option of picking one answer from several choices listed.
Yet, despite these very real shortcomings, IQ tests are still a better predictor of managerial success than any other assessment tool.
Have you been invited to complete an assessment? Are you curious about taking a test? If so, then this is the right page for you! To help you prepare, we put together some introductory videos that explain what Online Assessment is and how you can prepare. Do you want to see what the different tests look like? Online talent assessments measure the abilities, behaviors or characteristics required for work.
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Definition: Relates well to others; adapts communication style to successfully influence and communicate with others. Listens to other people and communicates with impact and empathy. Successfully explains complex or technical information to non-experts. Communicates effectively orally, in writing and via electronic means in a manner appropriate to the audience. What objections did you have to overcome?
Отключите ТРАНСТЕКСТ, - взмолилась Сьюзан. - Мы нашли Северную Дакоту. Вызовите службу безопасности. И давайте выбираться отсюда. Стратмор поднял руку, давая понять, что ему нужно подумать. Сьюзан опасливо перевела взгляд в сторону люка.
На черном поле светилось небольшое желтое окно, на котором виднелись две строчки: ВРЕМЯ ПОИСКА: 15:09:33 ИСКОМЫЙ ШИФР: Сьюзан недоуменно смотрела на экран. Получалось, что ТРАНСТЕКСТ трудится над шифром больше пятнадцати часов. Она хорошо знала, что процессор перебирает тридцать миллионов паролей в секунду - сто миллиардов в час.
Это было другое кольцо - платиновое, с крупным сверкающим бриллиантом. Сьюзан охнула. Дэвид посмотрел ей в глаза: - Ты выйдешь за меня замуж. У нее перехватило дыхание. Она посмотрела на него, потом на кольцо.
Стратмор решил, что лучше взять его к себе и заставить трудиться на благо АНБ, чем позволить противодействовать агентству извне. Стратмор мужественно перенес разразившийся скандал, горячо защищая свои действия перед конгрессом. Он утверждал, что стремление граждан к неприкосновенности частной переписки обернется для Америки большими неприятностями. Он доказывал, что кто-то должен присматривать за обществом, что взлом шифров агентством - вынужденная необходимость, залог мира. Но общественные организации типа Фонда электронных границ считали .
Un punqui. - Si. Punqui.
Он опустил руку и отвернулся, а повернувшись к ней снова, увидел, что она смотрит куда-то поверх его плеча, на стену. Там, в темноте, ярко сияла клавиатура. Стратмор проследил за ее взглядом и нахмурился Он надеялся, что Сьюзан не заметит эту контрольную панель. Эта светящаяся клавиатура управляла его личным лифтом.
Северная Дакота. Разумеется, это кличка. - Да, но я на всякий случай заглянул в Интернет, запустив поиск по этим словам. Я не надеялся что-либо найти, но наткнулся на учетную запись абонента. - Он выдержал паузу.
Из размышлений об этом кошмаре его вывела Соши, подбежавшая к подиуму со свежей распечаткой. - Я кое-что нашла, сэр! - возбужденно сказала. - Висячие строки в источнике. Альфа-группы повсюду.
Но Танкадо бил мячом об стенку. Он превозносил достоинства Цифровой крепости по электронной почте, которую направлял на свой собственный адрес. Он писал письма, отправлял их анонимному провайдеру, а несколько часов спустя этот провайдер присылал эти письма ему самому.
Скажите, что мы сдаемся. Немедленно! - Джабба достал из кармана мобильник. - Давайте мне его номер. Я сам позвоню этому… - Не беспокойтесь, - прошептала Сьюзан.
ГЛАВА 75 Пальцы Стратмора время от времени касались беретты, лежавшей у него на коленях. При мысли о том, что Хейл позволил себе прикоснуться к Сьюзан, кровь закипела в его жилах, но он помнил, что должен сохранять ясную голову, Стратмор с горечью признал, что сам отчасти виноват в случившемся: ведь именно он направил Сьюзан в Третий узел. Однако он умел анализировать свои эмоции и не собирался позволить им отразиться на решении проблемы Цифровой крепости. Он заместитель директора Агентства национальной безопасности, а сегодня все, что он делает, важно, как. Его дыхание стало ровным.
Джабба удивленно заморгал. - Соши. Соши Кута, тонкая как проволока, весила не больше сорока килограммов. Она была его помощницей, прекрасным техником лаборатории систем безопасности, выпускницей Массачусетс кого технологического института. Она часто работала с ним допоздна и, единственная из всех сотрудников, нисколько его не боялась.
Он был принят сегодня утром.