Presentation: It’s Not about How Smart You Are…

Mike The Architect Blog: Angry Last week I presented about a topic that focuses on improving enterprise architecture effectiveness through our soft skills.  There is a great deal to cover in this area but I wanted to build a primer and get some your thoughts stimulated around the soft skills required to be effective with your customers and partners.

The most common pitfall I see with my interaction with architects is that our communication is dominated by IT centric speak that is illustrated with technical templates, data models, complex frameworks or even fully baked solutions. These are all analytical or IQ centric in nature. In my presentation, I discuss how that is not how people in general think and set the stage for a different way of thinking about how we as EA’s communicate through Emotional Intelligence.


EA Effectiveness: It’s not about how much you know but how you use it

In this presentation I talked about how your IQ will get you the job but your EQ will allow you to keep it. Meaning, even if you’re the smartest architect on the block but you intimidate, alienate or out right make people mad you will not be effective.  I’m sure some of you have seen this in your past but if you need another story about this you can find a really great one in the book, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. 

In my presentation, I explore high-level EA soft skills  and offer some insights into our own biology to explain how people think and relate it back to our profession. Over time I will dive into more of these aspects that I am just scratching the surface on now.

Note: There are quite a few images in the presentation that require a voice over. I may address this through a webcast at some point.

If you view my presentation, I would love to hear your feedback on this topic and how you think this would help or impact your architecture success.


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0 thoughts on “Presentation: It’s Not about How Smart You Are…”

  1. Hi Mike,
    I thoroughly enjoyed walking through your presentation. As someone who comes from the ‘business side’, I can fully empathize with the frustrations that non-technologists suffer when being belt-fed a plethora of techno-detail about which I have no or little interest. When I was running my own business, I simply wanted to know four things:
    1. The NEED: If your proposal is not born from a known business requirement, then why do we need to do it?
    2. The RISK: What if it doesn’t work? What’s the worse-case scenario if we do this?
    3. The COST. I expect a thorough ROI analysis and an honest account! This also includes costs in time taken.
    4. ME! (Although I will never ask you this….). What’s in it for me? If I agree to sponsor your project and it goes belly-up – what are the consequences to ME? And, if this is successful; how can I use it to enhance my professional reputation?
    I call this fourth concern ‘the secret concern’. No stakeholder will ever ask you if your architecture work will make them look good.
    Only by developing mutually beneficial relationships through the use of EQ can you ever hope to tap into your stakeholder’s true motivators. Moreover, I am of the firm belief that EQ and great leadership are intrinsically linked.
    Thanks again for providing such insight Mike. I look forward to reading more of your work in this area.
    With best wishes in all that you do,


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