How Much EQ Does Steve Jobs Really Have? (Part 2)

Last Updated Nov 30, 2009 6:26 PM EST

Fortune magazine has just named Steve Jobs as the CEO of the Decade.

The edition features a number of stories about Steve Jobs including this wonderful article about the 21 Jobs-related books that have been published. Besides a terrific quote "He would have made an excellent king of France" by a former colleague, the author defines the books as falling into one of three genres:

  1. Genius: when he is developing some new product.
  2. Creep: discussing his personality flaws when he was ousted from Apple by Scully.
  3. Creepy Genius: when he returns to Apple and releases the iPod and iPhone.
However the question I am trying answer is what is Steve Jobs' EQ?

If the first step in EQ in understanding your core emotions it would appear that Steve Jobs has invested considerable time and effort is trying to work himself out. Whether he has succeeded or not is moot. The Fortune article quotes Larry Ellison as saying Steve has never been motivated by money yet on the other hand being enormously proud that Apple is now the most highly valued company in Silicon Valley. Steve is regarded by many observers has having poor self-control of his emotions, which the second stage of EQ.

In her excellent article The downside of being nice. Fiona Smith describes Jobs as screaming, crying and making threats when the colour of new NeXT vans did not precisely match the colour of the exterior paint of the new manufacturing facility. Managers had to spend precious hours and thousands of dollars getting an exact match.

On the other hand Steve Jobs does appear to have a terrific ability to attract, hire and motivate high quality people. In my previous blog I related the famous story of his recruitment of John Scully at MOMA: "Do you want to change the world or sell sugared water for the rest of your life?"
I also said what made Steve Jobs interesting is that his personality seemed combine the conflicting components of stubbornness and flexibility. His very keen focus on what is visually attractive and practical, combined with dismissal of customer research make me think that he is an Artist-Hustler with low Normal. The two components that have the most empathy with other people are the Artist and Hustler and being strong in both these components makes Jobs particularly good at working out what makes people tick and a terrific interviewer. In addition his ability to communicate a vision combined with ability to change tack means that he will be good at relationships. Thus in summary his social EQ is extremely high while I would rate his personal EQ as probably average due to his low self-control.