Attitude or IQ? Which is Best?

Achieving remarkable results and having a successful career can be easily associated with being blessed with some form of higher power that you are inherently born with. You may be surprised to hear, that research conducted by the University of Stanford highlights attitude as a better predictor of success than IQ.

The foundation of this study is based on two types of mindset:

  • Fixed mindset
  • Growth mindset

With a fixed mindset, one believes that he is who he is with little opportunity for change, development and growth. This tends to be problematic when such employees are faced with new challenges. Anything which they deem beyond them creates a sense of hopelessness and stress.

Individuals with a growth mindset believe that they can develop, learn and change with experience and effort. They perform far better than those with a fixed mindset, even when their IQ is lower. This is due to the fact that they welcome new challenges with open arms as opportunities to grow.

It would be easy to believe that having the ability or being intelligent on its own is a guarantee of success. It is a great contributor, however, the deciding factor would be how one reacts to setbacks and problems. Our success is largely dependent on how we process failure.

So what are the key traits that separate people with a growth mindset from that of a fixed one?

To inspire a growth mindset, we need to avoid a state of helplessness. There are moments where we all feel helpless due to certain circumstances or situations. The true test is how we react to them. We can either learn from them and move on, or else get stuck in a rut of sadness. For motivation and example, there are a number of successful people who have faced challenges, which may at the time appeared insurmountable. Take Walt Disney, Steve Jobs and Henry Ford as prime examples! If they had given up on the first moment of helplessness they would have never developed into the legends they are today.

Being passionate is also a key trait. Having the relentless desire to achieve more is a weapon in your fold to behold. Drive your passion to take action to overcome the feelings of fear and anxiety. People with a growth mindset are empowered and identify the right moments for execution. Coupled with these approaches is the desire to go the extra mile. People with passion and enthusiasm give it their all even on their worst days. They are constantly pushing themselves to the limit.

Flexibility during adverse moments is also an important test of character. Growth mindset individuals understand that new projects pose new challenges which need to be solved creatively. When faced with such a situation, empowered individuals to strive until the desired results are achieved.

Monitoring your behaviour and adapting accordingly to the little things allows you to improve daily and ensuring that you are on the right side of the mindset pool.


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