Intelligent Ain’t Always Smart (part 1 of 2)

By Tom Davidson

Would you rather be intelligent or smart? You think they’d be the same thing right? See why I would disagree! 

As a leadership coach and trainer, I meet a lot of intelligent people, but they aren’t always smart, and some smart people that aren’t always intelligent. Which one are you? 

Intelligent people often have high IQs, advanced degrees from prestigious schools, and and important-sounding job titles. Smart people tend to work with their hands, solve practical problems, and get things done. Which is which in this example? 

Crossing the Harvard University campus for the first time, the freshman from the country stopped a scholarly looking professor to ask for directions, saying, “Excuse me sir. Do you know where the library is at?” The tweedy professor looked down his nose at the student and said, “Son. Here at Harvard, we never end a sentence with preposition,” to which the student replied, “Oh, excuse me, sir. How’s this? Do you know where the library is at, a_ _ hole?”

Would you rather be intelligent or smart? I’d rather be both, but given a choice between following an intelligent leader or a smart one, I’d pick the smart one in an emergency and the intelligent one for the long-haul. 

What can you do to improve your intelligence or your smarts? Since there is still no college degree in common sense, I’d recommend developing your strategic and tactical thinking skills with resources like the following: 

See part 2, tomorrow, for what intelligent people can do to be smarter.

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