Duke Fuqua’s Dean Wants to Recruit ‘Triple Threat’ MBA Applicants

triple threat MBA applicantWhat kind of MBA applicant is Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business looking for? Business Insider‘s interview with Dean Bill Boulding reveals that the admissions team seeks candidates with “triple threat capability leadership.”

Boulding explains that the magic formula is IQ+EQ+DQ. At Fuqua, that last one stands for decency quotient. So, how does Boulder define each element? Here’s how he explained the triple threat to Business Insider:

IQ—Raw Intelligence

Dean Boulder: “The truth is that you can’t be stupid if you’re going to be an effective leader. People may follow you once, but they’re not going to follow you twice if you don’t have the ability to really bring to bear your insight on the complexities that any business or any organization faces.”

EQ—Emotional Intelligence

Dean Boulder: “If you’re going to be working with other people, you have to be able to be sensitive to their emotions, their emotional state, and how they’re feeling. You have to be able to regulate your own emotions and be able to connect with one another in order to rally together and accomplish something extraordinary together.”

Certainly EQ is not a new concept, though it has gained greater attention in recent years for its leadership benefits. This article in Forbes, Why Emotional Intelligence is Indispensable for Leaders, calls EQ crucial to leadership success and in being able to relate to others. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes can help you choose the best problem-solving method to achieve your goals.

While intelligence is important, emotional intelligence is a key to success in leadership and relating to others. When dealing with others, truly try to place yourself in their situation. It will help you choose the best method to solve problems and achieve your goals.

DQ—Decency Quotient

Decency, meanwhile, is a trait that just makes you more pleasant to be around. DQ shows that “you’re interested in other people; you’re interested in their success; you’re interested in bringing out their best,” Boulding said. “Without decency, people won’t trust you. You won’t be credible. You won’t be respected. People just will not enjoy working with you.”

However, not all applicants to Fuqua possess these three characteristics, the dean admits. “You need to have the raw material in place, in terms of the IQ, EQ, and DQ,” Boulding said. “Then we can take those capabilities and turn your inclinations into real instincts.”

By the way, this admissions insight from Fuqua actually sounds a lot like the evaluation criteria Tuck School unveiled this summer: Smart, Nice, Accomplished, Aware.  “What we’re looking for is emotional intelligence, empathy, and respect for others,” explained Luke Anthony Peña, Tuck’s executive director of admissions and financial aid.

So, would you call yourself a “triple threat” MBA applicant? In general, do you possess those key quadruple capabilities? It sounds like these top MBA programs have the right idea about the qualities tomorrow’s leaders should possess.  You can read more of Boulding’s thoughts on leadership in Business Insider.

Photo credit: Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

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