As a leader, you’ve tried many things to improve employee performance. Here’s an approach, based on observation, data & analysis, that can improve employee performance. We often WRONGLY use the words intelligent and smart interchangeably. Intelligence is what we’re born with, and is used to learn, memorize, analyze and make distinctions. Smartness is what we develop – to contextually apply one’s knowledge and intelligence in real-world situations, often working with others. As we move farther and higher in our careers, smartness becomes more important than raw intelligence. While we leverage our intelligence in school, relying solely on academic credentials won’t ensure career progression. Even top graduates experience a career plateau, as I discovered from a frustrated friend in his 50s who holds a bachelors, masters, and PhD from MIT in computer science but isn’t a manager yet. The diagram below shows how we leverage intelligence and smartness with age. Those who stop their education at high school (red curve) leverage their intelligence less than college grads (blue curve). Advanced education (grad school & more degrees) primarily leverages our intelligence. Life beyond school and college requires more smartness. The first job we got out of college primarily relied on how well we leveraged our intelligence (academic credentials). However, smartness (solid gold curve), became more crucial the farther and higher we progressed in our careers. In our late 20s and beyond, smartness becomes the difference-maker between successful and plateaued careers. The careers of people with limited smartness stalls, leading to personal and employer disappointment. To improve their performance, it is crucial to identify their intelligence-smartness gaps and coach them to leverage their enablers (strengths) and mitigate their disablers (weaknesses) – and increase their smartness lifelong (dashed gold curve). With the expanded use of AI, knowledge and analysis (requiring intelligence) can be done by machines, BUT smartness will still require a human, making it more important for career success and employee performance. I’m an MIT grad who figured this out the hard way. Based on years of research validated by data, I’ve identified 16 factors that impact smartness and career success, and developed a unique and proven assessment that identifies the smartness and success enablers and disablers of individuals – see comments below for the link, or contact me. In summary, while intelligence is essential in the early stages of our careers, smartness becomes increasingly essential and more important as we progress farther and higher in our careers. You can improve employee performance QUICKLY by increasing their smartness. #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #CEO #owner #president #talentdevelopment #intelligence #smartness #smart #success #career #talent #coo iAchiever Institute