Everyone is different – vive la différence
It takes all sorts to make a world so the saying goes. As you progress through your life you will recognise that people have different values and perspectives, different levels of intellect and different levels of compliance with their environment.
One thing that characterises mankind is progress, his innate desire to change and improve his surroundings and life in general but as you look around you now and as you think back through your life you will recognise that some people are more successful at making change happen than others and some simply don’t try, they achieve fulfilment through living a quiet and healthy life.
What if there was a simple model that would help you plot your life, that of those around you, companies, industries, markets, companies, political parties, countries and what is more add some temporal dimension to it. All on a single sheet of paper.
Differences in Energy
We are all essentially the same physiologically, some people are over weight, some under weight, some strong and some weak but when I talk of energy here this is something different. I am talking about intellectual energy, the energy and will it takes to make a change of any sort.
This difference in energy changes with age. Young people have lots of energy but because they have not had sufficient life experience a lot of this gets wasted or misdirected. As we get older the energy wanes to be replaced by wisdom. There is nothing that can be done about this, it quite literally is a fact of life, the older you get the more you know and the less energy you have.
What if we came up with an Energy Quotient (EQ) and we give it a number from -1 though 0 to +1 where a positive number is high energy and a negative number is low energy. Now let us assume that the average person lives for 80 years and that they become an adult at 20 then we might postulate a linear scale for EQ based on age.
- 20 an EQ of +1.00
- 50 an EQ of 0.00
- 80 an EQ of -1.00
Differences in Impact
We all have different mental abilities, some people are good with words, some are good with numbers, some can create art. So in the same way as energy there is a scale of impact. Impact here is defined as the ability to make a difference. Some people are positively electric with ideas, they are fantastically creative but the quality of their ideas is often under par, they are persistent triers and once in a while they will get a eureka moment. Others seem to know precisely what they want and they make it happen, they are always ‘becoming’ something or making the world change.
At the other end of the energy spectrum there are people that have ‘been there and done that’, they do a great job but they don’t want to change the world, in fact they don’t like to see any change at all, they don’t want a smart phone, they just want one that makes and takes calls. Then there are others that just go along with what anyone asks them to do, things happen to them, they always talk about circumstance as a constraint rather than an opportunity.
So we come up with an Impact Quotient (IQ) and again give it a number between -1 and +1.
- An IQ of +1.00 is given to people that make successful and impactful changes for industry for the public or for the world.
- An IQ of 0 is neutral and is given to people that make no change contribution at all positive or negative in either making change or adapting to change.
- An IQ of -1.00 is given to people that things happen to or who’s ideas when they have them are simply not thought through and fail to make any impact of any sort.
Plotting Everyone on the Map
By using these two quotients we can plot a position for everyone on a map. You can plot yourself, people you know, world figures in industry and politics and you can visually appreciate the differences.
I have used the IQ as the x-axis and the EQ as the y-axis on the x-y plot below.
Plot yourself and see whether you are a:
Then think about those you work with, your sons and daughters and try to plot them as well and think about how you can help them channel their energy.
Adding the 4th Dimension
As we all know the 4th dimension is time. So try this simple exercise:
- Think about some of key events in your own life and career
- Distil things down to the highlights and write out a list of say 6 of them
- Put them in chronological order
- For each event try to estimate the IQ and EQ number and write these down
- Draw yourself out the two axes on a piece of A4 mark a simple scale on each axis and label the four quadrants.
- Plot your 6 events
- Consider how well you correlated to being a follower, a trier, a doer and and leader for each of these events
Now think about what and where you want to be and take steps to make that change, and remember do it soon because your EQ is dropping with every sunrise!