blueoceanEmotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. It can be divided into ability EI and trait EI. Criticisms have centered on whether EI is a real intelligence and whether it has incremental validity over IQ and the Big Five personality traits, which are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, sometimes referred to as OCEAN.

Isn’t that last paragraph a lot of words? Frankly, I am not a psychiatrist/psychologist or crazy. Sometimes those two boundaries tend to cross-pollinate, I can assure you. I do believe that any study of the mind has to do with one important term, “Context.” For just as one man’s ceiling is another’s floor, one man’s heaven can be another’s hell.  Why?  Context.

Ask the silver spoon preppie what stresses him or her out. Then ask some peasant from Kabul, Afghanistan. Test them for EI or OCEAN and I guarantee that the tests will skew toward the paradigms of the designer of the test. Wasn’t this been the great debate regarding IQ test for decades?

However, now let’s look at another great business concept, “Blue Ocean Strategy,” which suggests that an organization should create new demand in an uncontested market space, or a “Blue Ocean”, rather than compete head-to-head with other suppliers in an existing industry.  This book was published in 2005. History actually repeats itself, because Edward De Bono wrote a book entitled “Surpetition” about creating new playing fields back in 1992, but I digress.

My point is that when it comes to ANY individual, the key to growing in life is to understand your personality traits as they exist within your OWN particular universe and adapt to be the unique individual you deserve to be. Why is this so important? Because the society in which you live can only tolerate or understand so much within a given generation. For example, Martin Luther King died for his cause, a cause that a large segment of the culture surrounding him didn’t understand.  What about the Shah of Iran who was overthrown because he tried too hard and too fast to westernize an Islamic society?  Today there are tribes within Africa that utilize sex doctors to “purify” divorced and widowed women in the tribe, and in turn give each of them AIDS.  Is it right, wrong, or just plain ignorant? What matters is that it is taking decades to change the culture.

Context. I suggest that for you to be an individual you MUST know the culture in which you live as much as know yourself. Your BLUE OCEAN EQ STRATEGY is one where you differentiate yourself to be singular yet accepted; non-conformist yet acknowledged; unique yet respected. The net result can vary from leadership to fame to anonymity, but certainly, in each case, individuality.


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