I've been lucky enough to work with many consultants and professional services clients with planet sized brains. Their intelligence is almost intimidating at times. But many of them weren't promoted or 'successful' in the eyes of the organisation. This was nearly always down to them not forming the necessary relationships needed to succeed. It's a cliché but we really do like working with people we like and get on with, and emotional intelligence has a lot to do with that.
Early in your career — whether it’s in banking, law, consulting or accounting — you will discover that all of your colleagues are as smart and hard working as you. You’ll learn that the key to being successful must be something else. Over my 40-year banking career, I’ve learned that the critical distinguishing factor for advancing in the professional services is emotional intelligence (EQ). Without EQ, it’s likely that you will be your firm’s “best-kept secret” — not recognized, not appreciated, not promoted and, often, not properly compensated. Developing EQ is just as pertinent for the recent graduate who is starting out, as it is for the seasoned veteran.