Intelligence and Leadership

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by Karma, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. Interesting discussion in this blog article on the topic, suggesting that there is an inverse relationship between the two.


    Food for thought
  2. Classic management bollocks replete with hyperbole. The blog is just that, a blog, it could in no way be regarded as a rigorous intellectual argument.
  3. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I have to completely agree with you Harry, a blog by two blokes whose subjective opinion fails to identify just what they mean by "intelligence" They infer academic brilliance with no regard for imagination or creativity, measuring intelligence is like measuring understanding, it depends what questions you ask!
  4. and is situation specific
  5. Intelligence and Leadership are two completely independant variables.
  6. It's the old "tell you the square root of a jam jar but can't open it"...
  7. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer


    1. Display the trappings, postures and gestures of dominance
    2. If challenged, threaten your subordinates aggressively
    3. Use your superior information to outwit them
    4. If that fails, do not shrink from forcibly overpowering them
    5. Stamp out their silly squabbles
    6. Buy off your immediate subordinates with status symbols
    7. Do not let anybody else persecute the weak
    8. Direct group choice of social activities
    9. Occasionally jolly the bottom ones along
    10. Be seen to defend the Empire

    Liberally paraphrased from the 'Ten Commandments of Dominance'
    (Desmond Morris, 'The Human Zoo')
  8. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    When my American cousin graduated something over 50 years ago, the family's coloured maid's comment was "They get a degree but they don't learn NUTHIN!"

    Plus ca change ..
  9. One must not confuse authority with leadership, many gain authority despite not having intelligence, leadership or something closely connected with leadership, common sense. They simply lie, cheat, and employ Seaweeds good advice.
  10. To have a leader blessed with intelligence, well you are going places. But is intelligence?
    Academic Achievement.
    Common sense.
    Kowledge gained through Expirience.
    Management/communication skills
    IMHO if youve got any two of the four youll do alright.
  11. Intelligence is not having aquired information it is the ability to use the information aquired, So academic achievement does not in itself mean intelligence, but those with intelligence can use academic achievement. I would suggest that someone without good common sense will never make a good leader as leadership qualities and common sense do go hand in hand.
  12. Isn't that empiricism? Arguably the only useful knowledge.
  13. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Good one! Socrates argued this in the Meno (Plato, actually argued that Socrates would have argued this but that's by the by). His inference that it was possible for an uneducated slaveboy to discern what we call Pythagoras' theorum by his wordly experience is quite convincing until you pause to reflect on it and realise how ridiculous that is!

    Probably the funniest thing about intelligence is that it's just a word, a word created by us which has no universally accepted definition, how intelligent is that! Create a word and then constantly redefine what it means, then don't settle on one definition, just argue about it.
  14. ..... just argue about it. Intelligently.
  15. I'm so glad I'm thick reading the above !
  16. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Does intelligent mean "wearing boxing gloves" then? :violent1: :toothy7:
  17. The Meno raises another interesting and related issue, namely the role of power (here between Teacher and Student) for deciding what counts as correct or incorrect understandings of X.

    Socrates: Very well. How many times the small one is the whole space?
    Boy: Four times.
    Socrates: But we wanted a double space, don't you remember?
    Boy: Oh, yes I remember.
    Socrates: Then here is a line running from corner to corner , cutting each of the spaces in two parts.
    Boy: Yes
    Socrates: Are not these four lines equal and don't they contain this space within them?
    Boy: Yes that is right.

    The verification of the boy's understanding is not achieved through any kind of dialogue. Although the Boy's 'Yes' comes from his own mouth the answer is in fact produced by Socrates. In other words, genuine understanding does not occur. Indeed, it's not at all clear that the boy actually understands what is going on at all. So rather than mutual dialogue The Meno can be read as a monologue devoid of mutual interaction between Teacher and Student. It wouldn't be too great a leap to suppose that many interactions between leaders and the led, at all organisational levels, can often take the above form.

    Thanks to Robert W Mackay chp 15 in Roy Turner (1974) Ethnomethodology
  18. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I couldn't have put it any better Harry, I've tried the whole scenario out with students using the script from The Meno, even people who understand Pythagoras often get confused unless you lead them to the solution. Nicely brought back on thread too, I tend to agree with your last statement, many good leaders are able to convince the led that they are doing what they do because they want to or believe it was their own idea!
  19. For me that's one of the things that characterises effective leadership, of course in the military environment that's supported by much acculturation as well, but I feel that largely serves to prevent ineffective leadership being too damaging, than supporting effective.
  20. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    The characteristics of charisma, presence, empathy, sense of fairness, good communicator etc are all those of a good leader whether they represent intelligence or not is subjective. Reflecting on all the really good leaders I have known though, they all came across as intelligent (whatever that means!) Now does a "manager" need any of those qualities?

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