Being smart has nothing to do with being wise. High IQs mean that someone is very good at short-term problem solving or factual problem solving, identifying patterns, and sometimes being insightful. However, this does not mean that someone is wise, prescient, a good leader, a good teacher, a good role model or necessarily a good employee or employer. What this means is that just because someone is great at processing information, it doesn’t mean that they make good decisions. One has very little to do with the other. If a person with a high IQ is good at making good decisions then that means that the person has other skills or lack faults: Ability to take a conclusion and project forward, piece together disparate pieces of information to see the big picture and see a clearer future, understand all of the contingencies, risks and rewards in the correct light, ability to plan different scenarios for changing circumstances and know how to take risks. The thing is that smart people aren’t more or less amenable to having these traits, but smart people who do have these traits, as rare as they may be, are as valuable as they are extremely rare.

One other very important point: Don’t confuse smart with knowledgeable.  Just because someone knows a lot of things due to experience, studying or reading, it doesn’t mean that they are smart, i.e., have a high IQ. Unfortunately, our society has grossly confused knowledge with intelligence and use the two interchangeably and this is dangerously wrong. In terms of work, careers and jobs, particularly at low-levels, up to mid-to-high level management, traits like ability, intelligence, adaptability are far more important than experience, or knowledge.

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