By Jim Wong, CPA | January 20, 2016


How do you approach a challenging situation? It may depend on more than your intelligence.

I often talk about what I look for most out of my team members. Is it their specific skillsets? Their motivation? Their excellence in their craft? I find that it’s usually more about a person’s character and behavior – than their expertise in a certain subject.

It also is telling to see how someone reacts to a challenging situation or event. Many times, professionals who are able to think quickly, assess a situation and come up with a good solution are the ones I want to have on my team.

It turns out, I’m not alone.

A recent Forbes article discusses why a person’s attitude is more important than he or she’s IQ. The articles claims people’s core attitudes fall into either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset means an individual who is challenged beyond their capabilities, gives up. A Growth mindset indicates a person who encounters a challenge are able to handle themselves, as long as they continue to put forth effort.

I thought this was very interesting, especially for accounting, finance and IT professionals who tend to be numbers and process driven, educated with high IQs, and yet, are sometimes confronted with situations where they have to utilize their soft skills, rather than their technical skills.

Regardless of which mindset you are, there are strategies you can use to fine-tune your attitude. Below are some highlights from the article as well as a few thoughts of my own.

Be Able to Bounce Back

You don’t want to succumb to helplessness in a situation and let it drag you down. You have to keep going and be able to bounce back from whatever curve ball is thrown your way. If your accounting and finance leaders are implementing changes because of looming revenue recognition changes, it’s important to go with the flow – even if it means changing your processes and your thinking.

Be Passionate

When people are talented and pursues their passions, they tend to gravitate toward excellence. In the accounting, finance and IT professions, you have to know what makes you fulfilled in your position and carry that through each situation no matter how positive or negative.

Go the Extra Mile

When you continue to push yourself, even on bad days, it doesn’t matter how skilled you are, that perseverance can take you the extra mile. This will set you apart from your peers. It takes emotional strength and emotional intelligence to fight through a tough systems implementation or software integration. Being able to do so shows strength.

Be Flexible

Even if you are faced with a challenging project, task or position, you have to be willing to take each step as it comes, altering your attitude and activities as needed. Being flexible helps to be empowered and be able to assess a situation as needed. This will help drive success.

“Success in life is all about how you are able to deal with failure.” — Carol Dweck.

What are some other reasons why your attitude is more important than your IQ? Comment below and let us know!


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