Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beyond IQ by Garth Sundem

We've seen them, those with an incredibly high IQ yet incapable of successfully living life. Much more is required, Sundem says. He aims to help us get the most out of what is in our brains to obtain the results we want in the real world. “IQ doesn't lead to success. Practical intelligence does.”

Sundem says we need qualities like intuition, wisdom, skill in willpower, the ability to focus, and skill in multitasking (actually the skill of brain switching). He provides an explanation of the necessity for each quality, including research, and then gives a number of exercises to develop it.

I liked his exploration of insight, finding a solution to a problem combining specific knowledge with openness. He gave exercises helping our brains become “open” to new solutions.

Other topics in the book include tacit knowledge, problem solving, identifying false assumptions, boosting creativity, when expertise is a trap, cognitive involvement, wisdom, pressure, emotional intelligence, heuristics and bias.

I appreciate Sundem's documenting research. He names many books from which he gleaned his information so it would be easy to do further reading on a topic. I appreciate all the exercises too. Many of them would take a great deal of time to complete. If you want to get the most out of this book, plan to spend a long time with it. Reading it from cover to cover will give you the information but not the intended benefits of the exercises.

I could see this book being used in a group setting. The exercises would make for a fun family evening or for a group of high school or college students.

Note to Kindle readers: many of the exercises contain instructions like, “Copy, cut out and arrange...” Also, after each exercise is a “Click here for the answers” which will work, I suppose on new Kindles, but not my older, non-touch screen one. Some exercises also say “Click here to download this exercise” which could be done on a computer Kindle reading app.

Garth Sundem has a pre-med/music degree from Cornell University. He has a growing list of books, keynotes for tech and data companies, has appeared on the Science Channel, contributes to GeekDad.com and Psychologytoday.com, and various magazines. He and his family live in Boulder, Colorado.

Three Rivers Press, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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