Are You “Scary Smart”?

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Nov 3, 2011 in , , | No Comments

Scary Smart–a term used for those with very high IQ’s–are in demand.

In Rich Karlgaard’s article in Forbes, “Scary Smart: The Next Trillion-Dollar Industry”, he discusses how many billionaires today were born with a 150 plus IQ and have math SAT skills at the 800 level. Familiar names such as: Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google Founders) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, are just a few of the Scary Smart folks among us. Certain people in the internet, biotechnology and algorithmic finance fall into the Scary Smart category too. It would seem being highly successful these days requires ridiculously high levels of IQ, creativity, and energy. But what does that have to do with the average job seeker today? A great deal.

Synapses Backfiring

Let’s say you have an interview in the morning. You’ve done all the preliminary preparation and feel confident you’ll do well. But you get a lousy nights sleep and are not at the top of your game when you walk into the interview. As Karlgaard puts it, “The job seeker who flubs an interview because her synapses weren’t firing right that day is a sad story.” So true. Even if you’re known as a bright person, that first impression of being a tad out of it could hurt chances of being hired.

A Smartphone and Red Bull Anyone?

Usually when the brain is working at a slower pace, due to lack of sleep, not only does IQ suffer, but so does creativity and energy levels. So, it pays to do all you can to keep the gray matter in top form. Karlgaard believes, “People will pay for more IQ, creativity and energy, which is why energy drinks and smartphones have been two hot categories in a cold economy.” Should we all run out and load up on a case of Red Bull? Plop down a few bills for a smartphone, if we haven’t already? I’d say not so fast. They won’t increase IQ, only enhance what we’ve got–a little. But, I’m certainly not advocating drinking energy drinks or spending free time on a smartphone.

It’s Good to be Normal

Beyond a good college education, the better thing to do is know your industry, make learning life-long, hone your interview skills, get enough sleep, limit stress, eat healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis. All of these things can help, but nothing will make you one of the Scary Smart unless you have the right genes. And that’s perfectly fine, you can still be successful. After all, someone has to be normal!



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