An argument for growing your emotional IQ

Tyler Cowen, of Marginal Revolution popularity, hypothesizes in the New York Times Opinionator who will prosper in the forthcoming New World.   

By New World, he means the one world that replaces truck drivers with automated self-driving cars, the Big Data and hyper-tracking obsessed fitness tech adopters, and in one example he provides, the tech savvy lovers who respond without hesitation to the vibrating smartphone in their pocket as a signal to kiss the girl on the first date. 

At a high-level what I noticed is the rising popularity (dare I say competitive advantage) of a person's ability to harness a strong emotional IQ. 


1) In a growing but crowded technical skills jobs marketplace, Marketers who can speak to consumers will be highly valued. 

There will be a lot more wealth in this brave new world, but it won’t be very evenly distributed because a lot of human labor won’t seem like a special or scarce resource. Capturing the attention of customers with just the right human touch will command an increasing premium. Don’t forget that Mark Zuckerberg was a psychology major in addition to being a tech genius. Sheer technical skill can be done by the machines, but integrating the tech side with an attention-grabbing innovation is a lot harder.

2) Motivators will have an increased responsibility to use their skills to push adoption for online resources. This includes  courses across every level of traditional education.

Within five years we will are likely to have the world’s best education, or close to it, online and free. But not everyone will sit down and go through the material without a professor pushing them to do the work.
Those who are motivated to use online resources will do much, much better in the generations to come. It’s already the case that the best students from India are at the top in many Coursera classes, putting America’s arguably less motivated bright young people to shame. “Free” doesn’t really help you if you don’t make an effort. 

3) The popularity of self-improvement activities (i.e. meditation and yoga courses, ) will continue to proliferate. We'll listen to people who can speak to those trends convincingly.

A lot of jobs will consist of making people feel either very good or very bad about themselves. Coaches, mentors and disciplinarians will spread to many areas of life, at least for those of us who can stand to listen to them. These people will cajole us, flatter us and shame us into improving our lives, our work habits and our consumption. That’s why so many people go to yoga class instead of relying on the podcast. Managers who are motivators of first-rate talent will see their earnings continue to rise.