The New Intelligence Test for Finding the 3 M’s (Mission, Meaning, and Money)

“A GPA of 4.0 doesn’t matter if the applicant hasn’t mastered technology, friendship, or the ability to learn and lead… Grit + Imagination + Skills = The new measure of intelligence

Yes, companies do look at grades as a filter. With more complex business challenges, new solutions are needed. More companies are looking at other factors that are valuable in the long run. If you have GPA 4.0 – don’t rest on your laurels. Grades are not the only filter. If you don’t have GPA 4.0, perk up – do you have the skills and traits that are in demand? 

Check out this new perspectives in the article below:

“IQ accounts for what portion of our career success? The answer: between 4 and 10 percent.” — Daniel Pink

IQ is the Smallest Part

Researcher Daniel Goleman and the Hay Group have shown that IQ accounts for only 4 to 10 percent of our success. The mindset and conclusions to be drawn from this are that after a baseline of intelligence, it’s on us to acquire what we need.

The SAT that Never Mattered

Sadly, the SAT — and every other test like it — only measures how well you can do on the SAT. Yale University professor Robert Sternberg has been at work for years building an alternative, or as some call it, a “supplement” to the test. Sternberg’s test includes:

  • Narrating a story
  • Addressing life challenges (ex. How would you handle arriving at a place where you didn’t know anyone? How would you try to persuade friends to help you with something?)

The Companies that Stopped Asking about Grades and GPAs

Google, Khan Academy, and a slew of other Silicon Valley technology companies are no longer asking applicants about grades, GPAs, and where they went to college. At first, these institutions used the old metrics listed above to find employees out of pure convenience. Now, companies like Google have found methods which work better to find great employees, and they’re embracing them wholeheartedly. Laszlo Bock is the man in charge of hiring at Google, and this is what he has to say about who they want to hire:⁠

  • Flattening hierarchical structures (think distributed teams such as Special Forces)
  • Preferring leadership over management (leadership is management with less coercion)
  • Pursuing results over fundamentalism (they’re not biased about how things get done)
  • Valuing emotional mastery (culture is everything)

The New Intelligence Test for Finding Your Mission

Grit + Imagination + Skills = The new measure of intelligence

This test or formula isn’t just to gain access to the new economy. It also gauges our propensity to create value for ourselves and others. Plus, this new intelligence test is practically a formula for meaning. If you have had a challenging life, you’ll likely have grit. If you have an active imagination (as most readers do), you’ll be able to come up with good ideas. And if you have marketable skills, you’ll always be able to provide value wherever you go. If you’re going to find meaning, it’s important to understand that you already possess high marks on the new intelligence test.


Wikipedia defines grit as:

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

If we can become patient, maintain our attitude, and endure what life throws at us, we’re well on our way to building grit.


Harnessed imagination and creativity are now two of the most in-demand talents in the world. As technology continues to grow, evolve, and commoditize many services, imagination is the last great bastion of human expertise to perfect and master. Building it is as easy (and difficult) as writing down ideas every day. Harnessing it is about practicing, developing, selling, and implementing our good ideas.


The most important high-level skill may be thought of as becoming masters of our emotions. We’ll cover this is depth in future articles. For now, just think of emotional mastery as the practice of observing our thoughts and feelings as they arise. Choose the ones that serve you, and discard the ones that cause pain or frustration.

This article was first published on Medium