Moral quotient (MQ)


Applying moral intelligence, or “doing the right thing”, makes you more efficient and effective in personal, social and professional life. For example, being honest and open with employees makes them more committed to working hard for the organization.

Run your professional life using the same principles as your personal life and find your career get to a fast forward lane and satisfying.

Today, my article takes us to Learning moral intelligence, the steps connect to it and how to develop it further.

For the purpose of synchronicity and better understanding, our definition for moral intelligence shall be, “The capacity to understand right from wrong and behave in the value that is “believed” to be right by using our mental intelligence (IQ) to determine common universal human principles”.

Different from moral competence — MQ is the ability to know when one is or is not acting morally, moral intelligence means knowing how to lead with these traits.

Doing so may not only improve the soft skill success of a leader, but the bottom line for the organization he or she leads.

We are born to be moral just like we are born to be lingual, use a form of language to communicate, and although we are lingual by birth, we aren’t born speaking, meaning there is a nurturing required to help us learn the language that we use to communicate.

Similarly, we also need a nurturing environment. This means moral intelligence can further be developed with practice, it is central intelligence for all humans and the driving force for other forms of intelligence. Two of which I featured in my earlier article on IQ and EQ.

There are two approach models that can assist us in gaining greater understanding into this subject

A. The fist model identifies competencies for moral intelligence as-:

    1. Integrity

    2. Responsibility

    3. Forgiveness

    4. Compassion

    5. Patience




B. The other identifies seven virtues referred to as Borba’s essential virtues that help build moral intelligence

    1. Fairness

    2. Empathy

    3. Self control

    4. Conscience

    5. Respect

    6. Kindness

    7. Tolerance

These two models provide for great potential for understanding how to improve our learning and behavior and particularly improving our leadership skills.

Humans are born with natural moral instincts and make moral decisions rapidly and subconsciously.

It is professedly an essential and important characteristic for leaders to have, it affects their overall performance. I say this because leaders who are morally intelligent are more committed to their work, continuously learn from people around them and are more humble and willing to risk their own self interest for the greater good of moral goal.

So how does one use moral intelligence to develop into a more successful leader?

Leadership is positively correlated with intelligence, this means that more intelligent people make better leaders, however there is a school of thought that suggests otherwise, that smarter people are not always the best or most efficient leaders. Arguing that being smarter than the people you are supporting can actually hinder effective leadership due to the difference in levels of communication between the leader and followers.

Not only does it go a long way in arming us with good traits of leadership psychology, often highly associated with the business world, but also develops our social skills as well as shape many other areas of our way of life and that of our societies.

Our entire schooling life focuses on building our intellectual intelligence, this ends up building an illusion and mentality of this as the ultimate ladder to success, a high IQ however does not guarantee success in life.

This denies a fair chance to a number of elements within us to develop such as emotional and moral intelligence.

Getting our emotions educated thus becomes essential for life principles denying us the opportunity to development as we get molded into the people we become.

Education is a moral en devour and my suggested point is that schools should introduce and teach moral intelligence programs as part of the curriculum.

This will go a long way in working towards building a better future by sowing the seeds of moral intelligence in our young growing and upcoming generation; An approach towards solving our many societal problems among which corruption stands tall among many other challenges we are facing in our societies currently.

Using the model of subdivision to help shed more light, I shall subdivide moral intelligence further into different domains that can be adapted in schooling curriculum.

  1. Physical well-being, This sub domain includes physical health and fine perceptual skills.

  2. Social and emotional domain, further include self-regulation, self-concept, emotional awareness, social relationships and moral values.

  3. Cognitive sub domain- used to understand and develop a sense of moral intelligence by teaching right from wrong, practical application of virtues and exercising moral problem solving.

  4. Effectiveness domain- Knowing how to respond to a problem effectively and learning how to develop a set of values.

As adaptive skills develop our participation in personal care and daily routines heightened, adaptive skills also introduce ability to enter a new environment or situation and be able to engage in an unfamiliar and less desirable activity with minimal struggle.

The human mind craves simplicity. We’d much prefer an “always” or maybe “never” over the difficult work of dealing with unfamiliarity about what to do, of course we would prefer absolutes over dilemmas anytime and that’s the reason I say man is a habitual being.

Building a moral intelligent character by turning its practice into habits of doing good, makes it happen effortlessly.

In addition to this, I leave you with 12 quotes to stir up more thoughts of inspiration into this topic.

  1. Simple as it may seem, this is where some learning leaders could have some refreshing.

  2. It’s in nurturing one’s moral intelligence that a good percentage of current world problems begin to find solutions, among them corruption.

  3. It’s the little things: knowing to let a subordinate begin a one-on-one with his or her agenda instead of yours; listening to your team as opposed to telling them; showing greater respect for your employees not just as professionals but as humans.

  4. Being morally intelligent doesn’t necessarily mean being perfect, focus more on how you cope with the mistakes made.

  5. Businesses that are anchored on moral principles and have leaders that practice returns greater value to their shareholders, employees, customers [and] the communities that they operate within than businesses that aren’t”. The four yield trust from the workforce; responsibility inspired, forgiveness, will promote innovation putting them on the lane of gaining higher returns.”

  6. The way the brain works, practice makes permanent, so people can actually learn self awareness and have it mastered.

  7. Mastering the skill, could change all leaders for the better and in turn, allow them to find greater success for not only themselves but for the people they lead.

  8. As Forbes writer Liz Davidson points out, more investors and customers are taking ethics into consideration when purchasing shares and products, a challenge that can be overcome by giving moral intelligence an opportunity to develop in us.

  9. There are consequences to our choices that we must learn to be accountable for, whether good or bad.

  10. Forgiveness shows tolerance

  11. Do good because good is good to do, don’t be bared by heaven or threatened by hell

  12. Be inclined to do good.


It awakens curiosity that physical courage is so common in the world whereas moral courage so rare.”It is time for moral courage to take center stage in our role as citizens of the universe, It is time for teachers to take upon themselves the responsibility to impart moral courage to our students and upon ourselves to make sure we play our role by first developing it within us as well as among-est ourselves”.

If you wish to take a Morality intelligence test, feel free to do so in either of the link below.




Frank Odhiambo

Mind Grid Perspectives

4 thoughts on “Moral quotient (MQ)

Add yours

  1. The kids are the next generation so they need to be taught these virtues to be better men and women of the society.Thanks Frank.Good read.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: