Why Having a Good Attitude is an Advantage Over a Good IQ

When it comes to achieving success, you’ve got to be the smartest person in the room, right? While it certainly helps to have a decent set of smarts, you don’t have to be Einstein to achieve your goals or land your dream job. New research from Stanford University actually shows that your attitude often matters more to success than your IQ.

“Even leaders can be afraid of looking bad! They have hidden their fixed mind set by blocking communication and transparency; maintaining control; and holding a company hostage with no growth or promotions of very competent employees. Embrace the mindset of growth, hire people that are better than you, allow them the opportunity to be empowered and see how far they can go! Be sure to dig deep in the interview process so your joining the right boss and picking the right employee!” says Sharon Tsao, EVP Sales, Marketing, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

According to the study, conducted by Psychologist Carol Dweck, people’s attitudes can be classified one of two ways: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

People with a fixed mindset tend to believe that you are who you are, and that’s that. Leopards don’t change their spots, after all. This type of mindset can be limiting, because when faced with challenges, people with a fixed mindset tend to give up thanks to feelings of overwhelm.

Conversely, people with a growth mindset embrace learning and believe that with the right amount of effort, they can improve and overcome challenges. This means that even if they have a lower IQ than someone with a fixed mindset, they can and do outperform “smarter” people.

The key, according to the study is the way in which someone deals with failure. People with a fixed mindset can’t see past the failure. People with a growth mindset don’t believe failure as an ending, but rather an opportunity to learn from a situation, grow from it and change their approach in the future. They embrace failure as a problem to be solved rather than an insurmountable roadblock.

Developing A Growth Mindset

Even if you aren’t a person with a growth mindset today, you can work to develop that attitude over time.  First and foremost, abandon helplessness, not hope. Everyone feels helpless from time to time but staying stuck in that feeling means you’ll be stuck in your current situation. Consider this: Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her first anchor positions. She could have easily packed it in and gone to work as a news writer or producer. But if she had done that, where would she be today? Instead, she learned from her experience and bounced back to become a one-woman media powerhouse.

Developing a growth mindset requires constant action. If you stay stagnant and stop pushing yourself beyond your limits, you’ll never grow. Empowered people don’t wait for the “right time” to take action. They make that “right time” right now. If there is something you want to do or an obstacle you want to overcome, face it head on and start moving forward. People with a growth mindset know that no matter how slow they go, they are moving faster and farther than people standing still, even if those still folks have a higher IQ.

As you look to seek ways to grow your career, don’t worry if you’re not always the smartest person in the room. When interviewing with hiring managers, if you can demonstrate that you are able to learn from setbacks and use those situations to grow and improve in the future, you’ll be noticed. After all, it’s never really about how smart you are, but how smart you work when you’re on the job.

If you are a professional with a growth mindset looking for new career opportunities, Contemporary Staffing Solutions is a nationally-recognized expert in staffing and recruiting. Contact us today to learn how CSS can help you achieve your goals. Job seekers and hiring managers are always looking for advice to help them stay current on their interview skills! Connect with us today and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and via our blogs to keep ahead of the curve!