A Definition of Intelligence

Intelligence is not only having something of value to say but also knowing what to say differently to each person.

Think of the opposite for a moment. Imagine you are at a lecture, and every 30 seconds the guy next to you shouts out, “Bubba!” It won’t take long before you decide he’s an idiot because he isn’t saying anything of value and he is preventing someone else from doing so.

But if every now and then he leans over and shares a piece of research that reinforces what the speaker just said, you’ll probably be both appreciative and impressed.

You can add a lot of value by knowing what to say differently to different people. (It is a waste of breath to talk to my son about Pitch Perfect, but my daughter is obsessed with that movie. One size does not fit all.)

Unfortunately, what I’ve just described is not how most people operate. I’ve met entrepreneurs who deliver the same pitch 40 times in a row and wonder why no one is buying what he or she is selling. I also run across job seekers who fail to study prospective employers in detail, and then crash and burn in an interview because they don’t understand how this employer is different from others.


OTHERwise Copyright © by Bruce Kasanoff. All Rights Reserved.

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