Techies generally possess a high level of certain types of intelligence. These typically include logical-mathematical intelligence, which involves problem-solving and reasoning skills, and spatial intelligence, which is important for tasks such as coding or understanding system architectures. However, raw intelligence alone is not the key to success in the tech industry. Equally important is smartness, the ability to apply intelligence effectively in various contexts.

Smartness encompasses emotional intelligence, the ability to take action, effective communication, and more. Successful tech professionals don’t merely possess high intelligence; they deploy it effectively in various situations, leading to greater career success. They demonstrate adaptability, ongoing innovation, and the ability to overcome complex challenges that may daunt others.

Moreover, the conscious management of one’s traits, both enabling and disabling, significantly influences a techie’s career. Enablers are traits, skills, or behaviors that amplify a tech professional’s effectiveness and facilitate the full deployment of their intelligence and smartness. These may include empathy, strategic vision, or a relentless drive for results.

Conversely, disablers are traits, skills, or behaviors that can limit a techie’s effectiveness and obstruct the full deployment of their intelligence and smartness. For example, an inability to delegate can impede team efficiency and productivity, reducing the techie’s effectiveness as a leader. Going to a training class on delegation is often useless, as it usually fails to bridge the knowing-doing gap. How much money have you wasted on those approaches?

 Techies should identify and comprehend these traits, endeavoring to maximize their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. As they advance in their careers, this continuous process grows ever more important. Look closely at techies who did get repeated promotions and those who didn’t, and you’ll find one thing:

Most techies fail to get senior promotions MORE OFTEN because of their disablers (weaknesses) than because of a lack of enablers (strengths). The strengths are what brought them to this point. The weaknesses are what will hold them back from progressing higher. We have data from hundreds of assessment takers that clearly show that less successful people have more disablers than more successful people do.

Tech professionals who grasp the importance of high intelligence, smartness, and the management of traits are better equipped to navigate their careers. They become more proficient at driving innovation, solving complex problems, and making effective decisions. They are capable of leading their teams to success while nurturing an environment that encourages creativity and collaboration… and get promoted to higher positions repeatedly.