Itty Okim: Cutting Deals in This Century: Your IQ is something, not everything.

Itty Okim: Cutting Deals in This Century: Your IQ is something, not everything.

Cutting Deals in This Century: Your IQ is something, not everything.

The system that works in businesses – especially corporate outfits – constantly evolves with time. Over the years, factors like cultural modification, technology, taste, trends and economics come into play to change the game of how successful businesses are made and even sustained. This means that the gimmicks that worked for John D. Rockefeller’s oil company in the 18th century just might not work as efficiently in 2020.

True, tips can be taken from past legendary business figures, but the system has been hacked by the earlier mentioned factors. Hence, a need for innovation in both ideas, resources and skills. One of those many things that evolved is the demand for just work personnels with good intelligence quotient.

“You did very great, Itty. You are a great guy. I wish every 18 year-old had your people skills. I wish my son had your confidence, intelligence and gap-tooth,” one of the panelist of a job interview I had attended at a popular bank HQ in Marina had said to me, giving me a tap on the back after forty straight minutes of what seemed to me like interrogation with flaming questions being fired at me without space for my recuperation.

I did not get the job. The reason was first that I was planning relocation, and then that I had no tertiary educational qualifications. In Africa (especially the part I come from), certifications are placed before abilities. I took it with good faith and left the premises.

While in the “danfo” that was to take me to a major bus stop where I would board my final vehicle home, the words of the tall panelist lady lingered in my heart. It hit me that interviewers seek more from employees and potential partners than work intelligence.

If it used to be that businessmen sought only IQ in past centuries, it is definitely not so in this very one. If you ask why, I’ll tell you that the world has expanded greatly since the last century. There are more people. More crooks, more impersonators, more incapable people, more fake certificates, more undefendable records; more reasons to not trust more people.

As a result, people only strike deals with people who give them a sense of trustworthiness. It goes beyond being intellectually capable into being able to make the other party feel at ease and have their minds at rest while having a conversation with you.

The key to being able to make the other party fall in love with you – even on first meeting like my case at the bank interview – is emotional intelligence, EQ.

A good EQ is what is most sought after in this generation. The IQ has not stopped being very important, but it has stopped being enough. It’s great to have skills and be the best at them. It’s very much appreciated when you deliver work on time and in good shape, but it’s better to do so in a way that would best be appreciated by your observers.

EQ is the part of public relations and branding that is not learnt in classrooms. Every individual must learn it for his or herself. So if you have plans of taking notes from the actions of classic business figures, do so from the fictional Godfather who attached great importance to sentiments at all times. This is because sentiments are the keys to winning hearts like you do a boardgame.

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