At the Aspen Ideas Festival on Sunday, I had the honor of introducing Howard Gardner, the author of the groundbreaking work on multiple intelligence 25 years ago.
After changing the way people around the globe think about intelligence, he came to the conclusion that intelligence is merely a tool and character is the more important trait. To illustrate this point he reminded us of some of the most destructive men of the last century who were exceptionally intelligent (e.g. Hitler).
Think of it this way: Intelligence is the car. Character is the navigation system. And, will is the fuel that enables forward motion.
As a society we focus our resources on intelligence, but it is increasingly imperative that we come to understand and support the development of character and will power.
Howard Gardner is investigating these traits by looking at how people approach their work and how they frame their personal responsibility in the context of their work and profession (check out Good Work ).
I just bought his latest book, Responsibility at Work . It is a collection of essays by other thought leaders based on the outcomes from Gardner’s research. This line of investigation still feels nascent, but I really think Gardner is on to something.