Birth Order

Studies show that oldest children tend to have higher IQs and are disproportionately represented among CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, and US Presidents.  As always I’m open to ideas as to why that might be the case.  I have one theory, social scientists be danged.

Older siblings and even parents have a hard time seeing younger children as anything but the silly kids they once knew, running around in their underoos with chocolate smeared on their face screaming the ABC song at a kajillion decibels.  They might be a little skeptical that you have what it takes to launch that risky business venture or write the next great American novel.  And when someone you’ve admired from the cradle says you don’t have what it takes…that can leave a mark.

The good news is that while oldest children may be overrepresented in positions of power they don’t have a monopoly on success.  There are certainly a handful of youngest children who become CEOs and oldest children who become comedians.  It might even take as much courage for an oldest son to “let down” his family by becoming a comedian as it would for a youngest daughter to overcome familial resistance and become a US President.  I’ll leave that to further “studies.”    In either case, success can only come if we can draw on sources of strength proportional to the opposition and doubt we might face in the family.

Of course there are plenty of skeptics outside the family that we have to battle, but few who are taken as seriously.


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