By Jim Ellis S. Valerio, Teacher III, San Francisco NHS
The past decades have been successful in extracting many cognitive constructs that predict
a person’s success. In fact, a lot of studies and academic papers have been published correlating
these types of intelligence to personal and professional triumphs.
Long before, it was believed that Intelligence Quotient (IQ) which assesses memory,
logical thinking and analysis, and mathematical problem-solving skills predicts future success in
the workplace. Then, the emotional quotient (EQ) which measures interpersonal, communication,
and self-regulation skills started getting the spotlight after being widely seen as a tool kit that plays
an important role in helping people succeed in multiple aspects of life. But very few have been
written regarding the newest cognitive construct- the adversity quotient.
Dubbed as the resilience measure of an individual, the term adversity quotient was first
coined in 1997 by Dr. Paul G. Stoltz to denote our body’s hardwired pattern of response to life’s
adverse situations like social, workplace, and even individual adversity. It entails that the higher
the adversity quotient of a person, the more likely he is going to succeed in his endeavors in life
because he has the ability to withstand the trials and challenges thrown at him along the way.
The science of adversity quotient which is rooted in many years of studies and backed up
by more than 1500 pieces of research globally was proven to be associated with areas of
performance and productivity, innovation, agility, resilience, change, pace, and problem-solving
This paradigm posits that a person who has the stronger willpower to conquer problems,
difficult situations, traumatic encounters, and life tragedies definitely has a better chance of
survival and success in life. Hence, the wonders of AQ are not only limited to certain areas but it
transcends in all fields where the human workforce is applicable, including education.
Now more than any other time in history, the education sector must look at a very proactive
angle in developing strong resilient leaders who have the mental fortitude and can surf over the
waves of educational crises like the current one happening. Various studies have already proven
its positive association with academic performance (D’Souza, 2006), motivation (Hastuti et al.,
2018), emotional intelligence (Singh & Sharma, 2018), and leadership style (Aquino, 2013) among
Contrastingly, with its promising impact on various fields, it appears that most school
leaders have average or low adversity quotient level only (Sison, 2020; Canivel, 2010; Napire,
2013) which means that they might not perform optimally or even collapse when they encounter
an adverse situation at work hindering the progress of the school and the subordinates they lead.
In a world where uncertainties are certain, and adversities redefine our living and reshape
our working environment, it is imperative to rethink our beliefs, strengthen our foundations and
reassess our weaknesses.
Now in the emergence of a global pandemic which is major educational adversity, the
significance of the AQ should be appreciated and must reflect in the present educational themes to
pave the way in forging resilient leaders of tomorrow.