An Alum’s Career-Changing Mindset

Two years after graduating with a degree in marketing from the Marriott School in 1990, Jenner Marcucci decided he was going to make his first $100,000 and buy a house—and then he did it.

By digging in and working hard, Marcucci was named the top sales rep at Pfizer; in fact, he speculates that he went to the beach just five times in the four years he worked in Hawaii. His efforts ultimately led to a promotion as a manager, but the rise up the ladder wasn’t all Marcucci envisioned.

“I went from being the number one sales rep to the worst manager overnight,” Marcucci says. “The skill set required to be a manager was so different than being a rep.”

The challenges he faced in his new career prompted him to continue his education. He sought coaching from experts on leadership and implemented their advice. He changed what he was doing and became so specialized in leadership training that he founded his own company, Summit Leadership Consulting.

Now a seasoned consultant, he recently came back to BYU to present to hundreds of students about the trade secret he learned as a first-time manager: emotional intelligence eclipses everything else in the workforce.

“This idea changed my whole world view,” Marcucci says. “To be a good manager, you have to be obsessed with helping other people do better. A good leader raises the tide for everyone, so as a manager it was my job to provide a motivating environment.”

In his presentation, Marcucci outlined the four pieces of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-Awareness: How well do you understand and accept yourself?
  2. Self-Motivation and Self-Regulation: Can you regulate your mood, marshal good emotions when you need them, and control your temper?
  3. Empathy: How well do you understand and empathize with others?
  4. Social Skills: How well do you manage relationships and network?

“If I could see everyone’s emotional intelligence numbers pop up over your heads, I could say, ‘That one will be the wealthiest, that one will be too, and that one right there is going to jail,’” Marcucci half-jokingly says. “Emotional intelligence is twice as predictive of success as your technical and cognitive are.”

Emotional intelligence isn’t just a key component to professional success.

“Data shows that personal worth, net worth, self-worth, and self-reported happiness don’t correlate with your GPA or degree, but they do correlate with emotional intelligence,” Marcucci says. “And the good news is, it’s not static. You can develop greater emotional intelligence.”

Marcucci closed his remarks with praise for the students present on their development thus far.

“If you got into BYU, you’ve got a good IQ. If you’re obeying the Honor Code and keeping your covenants, you’ve got a good EQ. You have integrity. You’re achievement oriented, you have good communications skills, and you have a better perspective on adversity than many of your peers. You guys rock. You represent what the marketplace desperately needs right now and will provide employers a stable competitive advantage.”

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