6 Smashing qualities that are more important than IQ for success

Sandeep Kashyap
Mar 23, 2018 · 5 min read

Do you know what does it take to be successful in life?

I’m sure that more than 80% of you would have said intelligence, skill-set, professional acumen or something on the similar lines. It is true that intelligence is definitely one of the prime contributors to your success but it is just one spoke and a wheel with one spoke won’t take you far enough.

A focused mindset, perseverance, emotional intelligence are a few success factors that are as important as IQ. According to a research, emotional intelligence is far more likely to lead to overall success than a high IQ or relevant experience. To strengthen the argument, Dr. Steve Bressert found out that IQ counts for roughly 10% while the rest depends on everything else, including EQ and other traits of a professional.

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Apart from intelligence, successful individuals like that of Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Priyanka Chopra possess the following character traits that helped them grow and become wildly successful. Let’s take a look at these factors other than IQ that can help you become successful.

A growth-mindset like that of a warrior

A mindset which is focussed on growth is the first step to achieve success in life — personal or professional. A growth-mindset is achieved when an individual believes in his innate characteristics, skills, talents, and abilities, and use that drive to become unstoppable. The never-say-die attitude lays the foundation for other important skills required to be your best version. If you can learn to develop a growth-mindset, acquiring other skills would be an easy feat for you. Set your priorities straight from the day one. Use powerful affirmations and other techniques such as mindfulness to develop the growth-mindset.

Hunger to succeed

Nothing can beat IQ than the ultimate hunger to succeed in life. History is replete with examples where individuals have tasted enormous success by fanning the fire of hunger within themselves. Henry Ford is a fine example who had an indomitable spirit to become successful. Remembered as a top-notch automobile genius, Ford wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early business endeavors left him broke not once but five times in a row before he successfully founded the Ford Motor Company. The above incident strengthens the fact that hunger is as important as innate intelligence to be remembered as someone successful.

Persevere as hard as an ant

Perseverance is trying to do or continuing something despite the difficulty in achieving success. To all those who wish to have successful ventures to their name must learn the art to persevere when the going gets tough. There was this guy with the name of Harland David Sanders who had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant finally gave it a yes. Sanders is the man behind who made Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) a giant brand name to reckon with.

EQ — Emotional intelligence

If we are talking about the success predictors other than intelligence quotient, the list would be incomplete without referring emotional intelligence. If you aren’t gifted with an exceptionally high IQ, emotional intelligence can help you dominate in your field. Emotional intelligence, or EQ as it is said, is the ability of individuals to have a precise knowledge of their own and other people’s emotions. As per a recent study, employees with higher EQ brought in more customers and had better sales as compared to those with high IQ.

Courage to fail

However counterintuitive it may seem but having the courage to fail and be laughed upon is required to be successful. Let me share an incident with you all. Thomas Edison who gave us the gift of the electric bulb was called ‘too stupid to learn anything’, was fired from his first two jobs, and failed a thousand times before inventing the light bulb. During an interview, a reporter jokingly asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” To which Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Keep calm and stay motivated

The path to success is not all hunky-dory, even the most skilled and intelligent beings could find it hard to stay motivated and might lose the focus at one point or the other. All the successful people have one thing in common — motivation. They have realized that the key to success lies in being motivated and excited about your dreams. Visualize your future to prepare yourself for what needs to be done and take action on it — every single day.


Without a doubt, IQ is an essential trait for a human but to thrive in today’s competitive world and become wildly successful, you need to arm yourself with an amalgamation of qualities as mentioned above. I would love to know what according to you are important success predictors other than IQ.

Want to become a leader who gets things done? If yes, then stop using email to manage work and switch to ProofHub.

Originally published on Linkedin.


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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.

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Sandeep Kashyap

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Internet Entrepreneur, CEO of SDP Labs and Founder of ProofHub

Thrive Global

More than living. Thriving.

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