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Would Warren Buffett hire Donald Trump to run America?

[dropcap style=”style3″]Y[/dropcap]es, I’ll admit it, that’s quite a statement to open up a blog about something called “Emotional Intelligence”, but I’m sure it got you interested, so hear me out.

Just a few nights ago on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon conducted a mock job interview with U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. All in all, it was amusing, but in the same way we’re amused at watching skateboarding fails and Rob Ford compilations.

Here’s an excerpt:

Fallon: “Tell me a bit about yourself.”

Trump: “I’m an incredibly handsome person [and] I have a beautiful head of hair.”

Fallon: “Why do you want this job?”

Trump: “Because I want to make America great again. Very simple.”

That interview got me thinking about another very successful American businessman’s approach to hiring and whether he would hire Donald Trump if he were in charge of interviewing presidential candidates.

Warren Buffett has always been known for his golden touch when it comes to hiring managers for Berkshire Hathaway’s vast and successful empire. So, how would the “Oracle of Omaha” rate “The Donald” if he could ask the questions?

Keep reading and I’ll divulge my hunch.

But first, a bit about the mercurial Warren Buffett.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) vs Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

When it comes to hiring successful managers, Mr. Buffett looks for an attribute that makes up his sixth sense. It’s called “Emotional Intelligence”, otherwise known as “Emotional Quotient”, or EQ.

The recognition of EQ as a leadership attribute has been proven through countless studies and papers that I won’t bore you with here (Google them if you must), but basically, EQ is this: the level at which one can A. identify and discriminate the emotions within themselves and others and B. use that information to act towards a positive result for both parties.

EQ may be best described as remaining calm under pressure, resolving conflict effectively, being empathetic and above all, leading by example. As heady as that all sounds, EQ can be instilled and developed over time.

EQ may be best described as remaining calm under pressure, resolving conflict effectively, being empathetic and above all, leading by example.

Unlike the vaunted IQ level (Intelligence Quotient), which is a score based on relative intelligence, EQ is much more of a determining factor when it comes to identifying successful leadership qualities.

Substantiating this is the well-known aphorism that originated from the Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering (now known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology):

“85% of your financial success is due to your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical knowledge.”

In other words, being book-smart is good, but emotionally smart is better.

Here are some interesting facts:

  • IQ of twentieth century genius (but reluctant leader) Albert Einstein: 160
  • IQ of fairly educated but wildly popular president, John F. Kennedy: 118
  • In 2011, one in three hiring managers reported placing increased emphasis on EQ in their hiring/promoting decisions (1)
  • One study found 34% higher profit growth in firms with high-EQ managers (2)
  • Another study found formal grievances decreased by 20% after supervisors took EQ training (3)

The IQs of today’s top business leaders aren’t typically divulged, but according to Chip Conley, Author of Emotional Equations, business leaders with very high EQ levels include Jeff Bezos (, Ursula Burns (Xerox), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and yes, Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway).

Which brings me back to the original question involving the latter of these moguls: “Would Warren Buffett hire Donald Trump to run America?”

My hunch is, well… not unless The Donald took some formal EQ training.

Donald, if you’d like to become an empathic EQ master before the election, we’d be happy to help. At Inscape Consulting we offer a full complement of EQ assessment and development tools along with executive coaching ideally suited for leaders of business and (occasionally) world powers too.

Thanks for reading,


Source: 1, 2, & 3:

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734