Successful Intelligence and the Story Behind a Momentous Meeting

by | Mar 25, 2021 | Relationships

Claus Møller met one of pioneers in the topic of Emotional Intelligence, Reuven Bar-On, in Chicago at the first international Conference of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace in September 1999. More than just a simple encounter between two people, this was the beginning of a conceptual merger that led to a co-operation on a book which details ways of applying emotional intelligence in the workplace and which launched Claus Møller’s concept of Organisational EI.

Reuven Bar-On was internationally recognized as one of the pioneers and leading researchers within the field of emotional intelligence. He has a colourful multi-national and cross-cultural background which has had a strong influence on his contribution to the field of psychology in general and emotional intelligence in particular. Since 1980, he has been working on his concept and he coined the term “EQ” (“Emotional Quotient”) to describe his approach to assessing this construct. He also published the first test of emotional intelligence and co-edited the Handbook of Emotional Intelligence. Reuven Bar-On has focused most of his attention on ways of defining, measuring and applying emotional intelligence on the individual level.

As founder, owner and chairman of one of the world’s largest corporate training and soft consulting companies, Claus Møller had more than 30 years of experience in improving organisational effectiveness. He had been a pioneer in management thinking in the areas of leadership, service and quality management, time management, and personal development.

He had developed groundbreaking concepts like:

  • Time Manager,
  • Putting People First,
  • The Human Side of Quality,
  • Employeeship
  • and Teamship.

He had written six books on these topics, and his ideas had been implemented by many well-known organisations around the world like American Express, BP, British Airways, Credit Suisse, EU Commission, Fiat, GM, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Japan Airlines, Merck, SAS, Toyota and Volvo. Claus Møller was one of the most important business gurus of the time. Based on the nature of his specific approach to training and consulting, his avid interest in emotional intelligence was both natural and inevitable.

Claus Møller had been exploring how best to describe, monitor and apply emotional intelligence and related areas to improve human effectiveness in the corporate setting and on the “organisational” level. Claus Møller’s training programmes and consultancy are related to various aspects of emotional intelligence. Claus Møller has been involved with the development of EI-related training instruments and programmes since the late 1970s.

It led to a new insight into another concept developed by Robert J. Sternberg. In Successful Intelligence (1997) Sternberg introduced a concept closely related to emotional intelligence. He defined successful intelligence as “What it takes to live a successful life. The kind of intelligence that matters to everyone in reaching important goals”.

The key characteristics of successfully intelligent people are as follows.

Successfully intelligent people:

  • know their strengths
  • know their weaknesses
  • capitalize on their strengths
  • compensate for or correct their weaknesses.


The three aspects of successful intelligence

To be successfully intelligent is to be efficient and effective in three different ways:

  • analytically,
  • creatively
  • and practically.

Typically, only analytical intelligence is valued in school. However, analytical intelligence after school is probably not as useful to most of us as creative and, especially, practical intelligence. The three aspects of successful intelligence are related. Analytical thinking is required to solve problems and to judge the quality of ideas. Creative intelligence is required to formulate good ideas in the first place and to find better solutions to problems. Practical intelligence is needed to use the ideas and the solutions to problems in an effective way in one’s everyday life. Successful intelligence is most effective when it balances all three of its analytical, creative and practical aspects. It is more important to know when and how to use these aspects of successful intelligence than just to have them. Successfully intelligent people not only have these abilities, but they also know when and how to use them effectively.

Below you can download four related articles written by Claus Møller, focused on Successful Intelligence in business organisations. You can learn more about the links between intelligence and success, and find out more about each of the three aspects of successful intelligence. 

Download Organisational EI Articles for Free

The four articles Claus Møller wrote and which describe our approach to that topic in the context of successful organisations and the Organisational Emotional Intelligence (EI).

Intelligence and Success

Practical Intelligence

Analytical Intelligence

Creative Intelligence

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