Leadership researcher, Fred Fiedler, has looked at the complex relationship between intelligence and leader effectiveness in his Cognitive Resource Theory. Fiedler focuses on two important leader variables: intelligence and experience. What this research shows is that under normal circumstances more intelligent leaders are more effective. This makes sense as intelligent leaders are better able to analyze problems, consider alternative courses of action, gather information, etc. However, under crisis conditions, Fiedler finds, more intelligent leaders are actually LESS effective. What predicts success in a crisis is experience. Highly experienced leaders immediately initiate well-practiced leader behaviors and get the group moving. More intelligent leaders, try to figure things out and the delay creates less efficient and successful leadership under time constraints. –Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use internal monologue to show the intelligence of the leader in your story.

Journaling Prompt: What characteristics do you respect in a leader?

Art Prompt: Intelligent leadership

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about leadership and intelligence.

Photo Credit: Loving Earth on Flickr

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