The Millionaire Next Door

Leadership 101, 102 . . . etc.

The arch type millionaire next door is an economically successful self employed business owner.  In other words, he is an employer not an employee.  He is in essence a leader.  This fact has much to do with understanding something important about millionaire business owners.  There is little or no significant correlation between cognitive intelligence test scores and demonstrated leadership performance.  By the way, I’m of the opinion that the SATs, ACTs, GMATs, and GREs and alike are essential measures of cognitive intelligence.

Along these lines, I cited the related findings of two eminent scholars, Fiedler and Link, in The Millionaire Mind:

Cognitive ability tests have been notoriously poor predictors of leadership performance . . . .  accounting for less than 10% of the variance . . . . (p. 97)

As an example of this consider Dave; today he is a decamillionaire.  He had already read The Millionaire Mind before he asked me the following question:

Of all the college graduates in my office building who would you think had the lowest grade point in college?

Yes you guessed it!  It’s Dave who had a “low” C average in college. By the way Dave owns the building that houses his very successful investment management company.   And unlike all of the college graduates he employs,  Dave graduated from a college that ranks in the bottom quintile nationally in academic standings.  Plus he never scored above the 900s on the combined SAT (original version).

Even today Dave continues to be amazed that each week he receives:

a stack of resumes from kids with Phi Beta Kappa keys, summa cum everything who want to work for me.  Very intelligent young men and women from great schools.

But what Dave lacks in academic credentials he makes up with demonstrated high scores on scales such as discipline, integrity, initiative, risk taking, ability to judge others, vision, tenacity, empathy, perseverance and social skills.  In essence he possesses excellent leadership skills.

What do all Dave’s Phi Beta Kappa employees think of his college grades.  Surely they have some concerns about working for a C student.  No employee ever asked to see Dave’s academic transcript.  It is irrelevant as long as Dave continues to pay them very well for their work and provide an exceptional work environment.


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