Are you too intelligent to be a good leader?

As Emmanuel Macron discovered, high IQs come with a downside, says John Antonakis.

by John Antonakis

In 2017, Emmanuel Macron sparked anger and mockery for dispensing with the French president’s traditional Bastille Day television interview because, his spokesman said, ‘his complex thought process lends itself badly to the game of question-and-answer with journalists.’

This decision didn’t go down too well.  ‘Us no understand President Macron’ was the headline in Marianne magazine. And Buzzfeed France posted a page titled ‘Ten sentences by Macron that are too complex for you, sorry you morons.’

The above issues highlight a very important factor about leadership that isn’t widely understood. Even though IQ is often linked to leadership effectiveness, more intelligence does not equate to better perceptions of leadership. You can have all the answers and be right all the time, but still be seen as not being a very effective leader. 

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here

Email: mtsupport@haymarket.com

Call: 020 8267 8121

Register

FREE

  • Limited free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Become a subscriber

From £42 a quarter*

  • Full access to managementtoday.co.uk
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine
  • Plus lots more including our State of the Industry Report.

Choose a Package

*plus VAT