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The other EQ: Executive Quotient


Atty. Jun de Zuñiga

Atty. Jun de Zuñiga

Everybody is familiar with the acronym “IQ” which stands for Intelligence Quotient, a measure of intelligence expressed in a number. It is calculated through an intelligence test. The average IQ is 100 and if one scores higher than 100, that means he is smarter than the average person. A very high score may even classify one as a genius. The IQ test thus has become an important instrument of employers in determining who they will take in as employees.

Subsequently, the IQ test was complemented by another standard. It is not enough that an employee is intelligent. He should also be able to get along with others, be consistent in his disposition, and be capable of coping with work stress and pressure. In other words, he should also have emotional stability. This is the reason why we now have the “EQ” or Emotional Quotient assessment. This is usually done through a set of questionnaires the answers to which produce a report with detailed information about an individual’s Emotional Quotient score. Many companies thus require their hirees to undergo the EQ assessment to guide these companies in their recruitment.

But as we also all know, the IQ and EQ tests, with the scholastic grades added in, are just initial passing standards. There are other qualifications worth looking into to determine one’s fitness for a job such as creativity, resourcefulness, dynamism, motivation and integrity. There is also one aspect I want to stress on, and that is the capability for risk taking and decision making. I am not sure if such capability is captured in the EQ assessment but, nonetheless, it should be highlighted as a desired qualification especially of those who are or will be officers.

Officers would have admirable performance if they accomplish fully their assignments and finish all the required transactions as directed, and there should also be corresponding appreciation if they surpass all their targets. This is just par however when operations run in their normal course. But things do not always go on as planned. They can go off course for reasons beyond control, or due to adverse developments which cannot be reasonably anticipated. These situations would call for risk taking and decisive actions. These moments would be the real tests to separate the grains from the chaff, and the executives from the routine performers.

True executives are recognized for their willingness and guts to make difficult and hard decisions, face the consequences and assume full accountability therefor. They shine more during trying times. I have seen actual cases, however, fortunately not many but very few and sporadic, where amidst controversial issues erstwhile efficient officers balked, or hesitated, or shirked, or simply just remained quiet in the background. Somehow, it seemed to me that they are concerned more in preserving their position and retirement rather than protecting the institution. As I mentioned in a previous column officers have to liberate themselves from their fears; otherwise, their capability to lead would be placed in doubt and their organization would also be handicapped.
I do not know if there are metrics to measure the risk taking and decision making capability of officers, although this is an important qualification that has to be extracted from them. The EQ assessment, therefore, should have incorporated this element, or better still, it can be given an additional or separate dimension to be referred to as the other EQ or Executive Quotient, to define one’s value as an executive.

The above comments are the personal views of the writer. His email address is

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