I might have been labeled as frugal at some point. I have a hard time spending a lot of money on something and I prefer to "get creative." As an example, (probably of frugality not creativity), one of my favorite all-time Halloween costumes was when I taped small gift-wrapped boxes onto my body and rigged up a hat with a hanger so that the letters IQ were lofted high above my head, and so what was I, you ask..."gifted with a high IQ!" Hah!

Ok, stop laughing (especially at me) and consider that the reality for managers is that maybe being gifted with a high IQ is actually something that is holding them back. Most people probably assume that CEOs, executive leaders and other bosses should be exceptionally smart, but new research actually proves otherwise, that they may be too smart for their own good! The results were that bosses that are too intelligent are actually less well perceived and may be less successful as managers in general.

In this article on HR Grapevine, Dr John Antonakis, of University of Lausanne, who conducted the study comments, “the idea is you need to be smarter than the people you are leading. You also need to be smart enough to keep rivals at bay. But you mustn’t be so smart that they can’t understand you.”

What the perception-based research study revealed was that after researchers gave an IQ test to more than 350 middle-managers. These managers then asked their employees to judge their abilities, and if someone had an IQ of about 120, either the worse manager they were or the worse they were perceived to be by their employees. 

Also, experts found that bosses whose IQ was more than 18 points higher than their employees, their employees begin to lose respect. Ultimately, if a high IQ boss has employees that have higher IQs and closer to the level of their bosses, the better off the perception will be for the boss. The greater the separation in intelligence, the less well perceived they will be.