“Q: Well, I'll hazard I can do more damage on my laptop sitting in my pyjama’s before my first cup of Earl Grey than you can do in a year in the field.
James Bond: Oh, so why do you need me?
Q: Every now and then a trigger has to be pulled.
James Bond: Or not pulled. It's hard to know which in your pyjamas.” (Skyfall, 2012)
For me, James Bond embodies the debate around intelligence. We think James Bond and imagine elaborate escapes, captivating plots and awe-inspiring gadgets; and we are reminded of the genius ‘Q’, the one behind all the inventions that make Bond’s escapes feasible. So what does this mean? Could Bond ever be successful without the mastermind Q fuelling his escapes? Similarly, could Q save the world without the sophisticated, charming James Bond operating his gadgets?
Cast your mind back to numerous Bond films and the obvious conclusion is that Q’s mastermind gadgets and Bond’s ability to communicate with villains in the field would not save the world if acting independently of each other. If we think in terms of human intelligence, we can view Q as the beacon for logical reasoning and technical ability (IQ) and Bond the figurehead for emotional intelligence (EQ), being able to regulate his emotions and communicate in the field efficiently. I admit this example has an element of tenacity, as a self-confessed Bond fan I am first to endorse logical and technical reasoning. However, for the purpose of this argument, I am focussing on the very different skill sets Bond and Q harbour, in terms of technical ability and communicative, relationship building.
So what can we glean from this example when put into the context of business? Clearly, Bond and Q, complement each other in a work environment. Therefore, it seems hard to agree with the argument that IQ is overrated, or as Christopher Hitchens of The Guardian (2012) argues: “there is an unusually high and consistent correlation between the stupidity of a given person and that person’s propensity to be impressed by the measurement of IQ”. Surely it is impossible to suggest a good education is overrated – who would make Bond’s gadgets? Similarly, inferences from Boris Johnson that economic equality is futile due to disparities in the UK population’s IQ is equally ludicrous – did Bond need technical ability to form a relationship in the field?
I believe that in business, IQ isn’t overrated, however, EQ is underrated. Research carried out by the Carneige Institute of Technology shows that 85% of financial success is due to “human engineering”; that is the ability to communicate, negotiate and lead. That leaves a mere 15% dependent on technical skills. Take Abraham Lincoln: despite Boris Johnson’s claim an IQ of 130 will generate a successful career, Lincoln was instrumental in abolishing slavery in America on a mere 128 – is that not a successful career?
Here is my point, in business, IQ is important. However, the other Q’s are equally important. Ultimately, you don’t need to be a technical genius to succeed. So what are these Q’s and how can we harness our inner Q?
Emotional Intelligence (EQ): This is the ability to manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. Knowing when and how to communicate in different situations is critical to forming business relationships. So become aware of your inner dialogue – understand your own emotions and create ways to alleviate inner stress. Communication and empathy is key for a high EQ, so make sure you can communicate and understand yourself.
Moral intelligence (MQ): This deals with your integrity, responsibility, sympathy and forgiveness. As above, work on your inner dialogue. Whilst it is essential you take responsibility for your actions and communicate respect to others, in order for this to be sincere, you must practice it yourself as well.
Body Intelligence (BQ): It is important to listen to your body’s messages – eat healthy, energy rich foods, get enough sleep and ensure you factor down time into your week. A few simple lifestyle changes could be key in having a high BQ, which can dramatically affect the functioning of your brain and performance at work. To quote the cliché, “your body is a temple” should not trigger eye rolling – you wouldn’t be that successful in your career without it!
So what has been deduced? With Bond and Q as figure heads for IQ and EQ, we’ve looked at how independently, these qualities are futile in business. Your IQ should be considered in equal proportion to your BQ, EQ and MQ. Proficiency in all Q’s may not give you the authority to introduce yourself in a ‘Bond surname first’ way (no matter how good it sounds in the mirror) nor will it create a promising career in espionage, but it will contribute to your future career success, financial happiness and health.
Amy is a Business Advisor at Purple Cubed and can be contacted to talk about her love of James Bond (amongst other things) at firstname.lastname@example.org