Make It New Grads

There are 9 types of intelligence. Bill Gates says finding yours is key

Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates
Photo by Doug Wilson
Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates knows that intelligence isn't one-size-fits-all.

Gates built his career on strong logic and mathematical skills, establishing himself as a brilliant coder with a knack for solving technical problems. But he admits he lacked other strengths, such as strong interpersonal skills.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Gates shares the things he wishes he knew when he was just starting out in his career.

"Looking back on when I left college, there are some things I wish I had known," Gates writes.

"Intelligence takes many different forms," Gates says. "It is not one-dimensional. And not as important as I used to think."

In the 1980s, psychologist Howard Gardener identified nine types of intelligence. Funders and Founders designer Mark Vital highlighted what each type of intelligence can offer in this infographic.

  • Spatial: Visualizing the world in 3D
  • Naturalist: Understanding living things and reading nature
  • Musical: Discerning sounds, their pitch, tone, rhythm and timbre
  • Logical-Mathematical: Quantifying things, making hypotheses and proving them
  • Existential: Tackling the questions of why we live and why we die
  • Interpersonal: Sensing people's feelings and motives
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic: Coordinating your mind with your body
  • Linguistic: Finding the right words to express what you mean
  • Intra-personal: Understanding yourself, what you feel and what you want

There are multiple benefits to embracing your own type or types of intelligence. For starters, you can stop comparing yourself to others, and find your best work environment. You're also more aware of what skills you may need to develop.

Gates ended his string of thoughts on a resoundingly hopeful note: "This is an amazing time to be alive. I hope you make the most of it."

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