Why are some people able to manage complexity better than others?

Geniuses are made, not born. We all can be geniuses and have world class minds like Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin or Leonardo DaVinchi.

A part of that is the IQ, but the biggest part are our emotions, mindset and the drive of curiosity that makes geniuses, therefore enable to manage complexity better. It’s all about consistency in training our brain. Although complexity is context-dependent, it is also determining a person’s disposition.

Traditionally in business there is a huge focus on IQ. But EQ and CQ are becoming more important. CQ is just as important when managing complexity. It describes the increased tolerance for ambiguity and a higher investment over time in knowledge and expertise acquistion which leads to a nuanced, sophistacted way of thinking over time. In the following, I will explain the 3 different types of intelligence, why it affects our ability to manage complexity and how you can improve it.

There are 3 key psychological qualities that enhance our ability to manage complexity:
1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

IQ stands for intellectual quotient and refers to mental ability.

Only few people know that IQ does affect a wide range of real-world outcomes, such as in job performance or career objectives. IQ tests seem quite abstract, mathematical, disconnected from every day problems, yet they are a powerful tool to predict our ability to manage complexity. Complex environment are richer in information, which creates more cognitive load and demands more brainpower. IQ is a measure of that brainpower, like megabyte or processing speed are a measure of the operator a computer can perform and at what speed. There is a substantial correlation between IQ and working memory. We can handle multiple actions together and remember, but sometimes not in long-term (use it or lose it theory). Intelligence is defined in many ways. Generally, people with higher IQ have a larger capacity for logic, understanding, reasoning, planning, critical thinking and problem solving.

2. Emotional Quotient (EQ)

EQ stands for emotional quotient. It is the ability to perceive, control, express emotions and relates also to complexity management.

People with high EQ are less susceptible, stressed or in axiety. EQ is a key-ingredient for interpersonal skills, which is also called soft skills. Soft skills are becoming more crucial as intelligent machines take over more physical, repetitive, and basic cognitive tasks. EQ enables us to understand other people, as well as understand our own personal qualities (Metacognition), such as self-control and skill in getting along with others. Work places are constantly evolving, making room for new technologies and innovations, these qualities may become increasingly important. People with high EQ tend to be more entrepreneurial. They are more proactive at exploring opportunities, taking risks and turning creative ideas into actual innovations.

3. Curiosity Quotient (CQ)

CQ stands for curiosity quotient and concerns having a hungry mind.

People with high CQ are more tolerant of ambiguity. It is the ability and motivation to learn and make sense of the world around us in new and innovative ways. Curiosity makes us more likely to remember information we find interesting. CQ leads to higher levels of intellectual investment. People with high CQ are early adopters; they are not afraid of trying out something new, they constantly learn to adapt. They can manage better complexity, because they deepen their understanding. They make sense of the steady stream of available information by truly understanding things from different perspectives and filter out the data that is relevant to them. They focus on success factors, threats and the things which are connected to each other. Lastly, people with high CQ rarely seek out the comfortable. They are always pushing themselves to edges to learn more and interact more with those outside their own usual realm.


IQ is difficult to teach, but EQ and CQ can be trained and further developed. We should all seek to increase and nurture our CQ and EQ. As teachers, coaches, mentors, executors, entrepreneurs or as any individual, we should try to inspire each other for personal development that boosts all these types of intelligence.

People with high IQ, EQ and CQ can manage complexity easier, because they are curious, understand others and their own emotions, as well as challenge themselves. IQ is still important, but I believe that EQ and CQ are slightly more important because it develops one’s ability to judge and react to people around us. It also helps to manage complexity better in professional as well as personal life.


Try to broaden your comfort zone. Try to apply personal interest and dedication to find the meaning in a sea of information. You are better able to retain material just because you are curious. You can be a genius! Try to improve your social skills, have more empathy and control your emotions, as well as reflect on yourself. Try to develop a curious and passion-driven habit to keep a hungry mind and train it on a daily basis. It can be something very simple, like reading about a random topic you just got in your mind, question things more critically that is happening around you or reflect on your day in form of diaries. It’s the start of having a better understanding of ourselves and improving it constantly.

Published by ozzinjun

Inspiring People To Jump In At The Deep End

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