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We Favored IQ Over EQ Far Too Long to Get Here

As published at Huffington Post 6/26/2017 (

I always believe there is more good in the world than bad. In any given moment, think about all the things that are going well in your life and in the world. However, when we read the newspapers and watch the news, we have a very different perspective. It looks like our world is upside down. We have to remember media needs to tell what is not going right. They can never have enough audience by telling how everything else is going well. So we have to consciously need to remind that to ourselves. Our world has less crime than ever before – as explained by scholars as Steven Pinker. We are progressing in many facets of life too.

We are still worried about the ethics and values of all kinds of institutions including governments; not only in the US but around the world though. People have no idea who to believe in even at the highest level of government. We see the unequal treatment of people in the workplace when CEO Marissa Mayer was able to walk away with $23M severance pay (total $260M by the way) although her record at Yahoo was not bright at all. While a regular employee at another company was telling how she got fired: She bought a diaper for her baby in a hurry with the corporate card. Although she explained it was an innocent mistake of a working mom in a hurry (which I am sure many moms can relate), it did not change the outcome. Only 5 people can have worth as much as 3.7 billion people is a sad fact of our times. I have nothing against wealth but it is the inequality we face in the world.

On a bad-news day when my friends and I were feeling the heaviness of what is happening out there, one of them raised a question: “How come our humanity is not progressing while our technology does?” Here is what I believe in:

If we go back to the start of Industrial Age, organizations, governments, leaders of that time believed in command-control and that a selective minority should dictate others what to do at work. They believed people who are “intelligent” had to rule those who are not as “smart”. This mindset stayed true for a very long time and still is present in the front offices of many organizations.

Besides this mindset that demeans people, industries emerged, a lot of inventions occurred, and technology advanced. So there were definitely positive outcomes too. However, we totally disregarded, for the most part, people who had higher emotional intelligence (EQ) that bring emotions, empathy, purpose, compassion, connection, intuition, humanistic values to the workplace. We awarded professions that used mostly our left brains: analytical, logical, IQ, technical skills which are all great and very much needed. Till to this day, there is a lot of reward in our system, especially financially, for those people with left-brain skills. Their jobs and titles also carry more prestige. We decided to pay engineers, doctors, lawyers well (which they totally deserve) but not so much our sociologists, philosophy experts, psychologist, artists, caregivers or just plain philanthropists. Our world obviously needs both but we favored one group over the other for centuries.

What if we always valued them both equally (not that some amazing people with right-brains got to be very successful and wealthy too) so that somebody with great empathy, social skills, purpose, right-brained would walk together on the same path with left-brained professionals to figure out how technological advancements, government functions, education, our health systems, the processes we build impact our humanity? What if we listened to sociologists, psychologists, visionaries and alike more so that we know how emotions play a big part in all aspects of life? What if we had compassion and diversity education for all? We cannot explain the political turbulence we are in by collecting facts only and using our left brains. I am watching the panelists on news channels; nobody really is there to explain WHY this is all happening and looking into the emotions as human beings to be able to understand what we created over the years. We cannot exclude the real personality traits of a president or a CEO to explain what is really happening in those entities.

To end this craziness, I really think we should reward people who are like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama who want to help humanity. These type of people have very rewarding experiences for sure following their purpose in life but they should not worry about money to exist in this world either. We do not need to be big names like them either. We are people who just want to play our part with our strengths in this world. Parents should not worry if their children choose a field of their dreams because they are not going to be paid well. This is what we created until now but it is in our hands to think differently and change the systems we have been living with for so long.

That is why I believe in and write about purpose: we need to figure out again why we exist. This is also why I write about Millennials: because they care about the world, the planet they inhabit and they question the status quo. That is the only way we can change. The people who are born to use their right brains should not feel the pressure to choose something they don’t like because society always favored the others. We need each and every person’s gift in this world. We are seeing more and more from research that money is never the answer to happiness on its own, so let’s make sure everybody has the right to be who they are and make a decent living.

We need both the left-brainers and the right-brainers in this world and some of us have strengths in both. Most of us lean towards one. Let’s create a new education system and leaders who understand the value of every person’s unique gifts. When we invent robots or automation, let’s have people around who can tell us the implications of it to our humanity and our future. Organizations, governments, people can come together to make sure we do not destroy ourselves. This reminds me of the excellent book Daniel Pink has written: A Whole New Mind. He believes we have to develop our emotional intelligence since jobs that require IQ are taken away by technology anyway.

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.” (from David Orr’s book Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World.)

So the real question is how can we create the world that values and award people who want to be aligned exactly with what they were born to do and still have a decent life? Let’s start by bringing great minds together with IQ and EQ in all kinds of organizations and value them both. I agree with Daniel Pink that our future needs more emotional intelligence skills than ever.

As published at Huffington Post on 6/26/2017 (

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