Marcus Harwood, CEO of OND, the company behind Method Teaming, told me this story.

People ask me all of the time: ‘Marcus, do you find yourself trying to assess a person’s Intellect when you meet them?’  The answer is: ‘Yes, I do.  It is an occupational hazard.’  We actually teach my method as part of our in depth ‘By-Intellect Selling’ course.

One of the things I look at is shoes, particularly men’s shoes (I am not very good at women’s shoes).  I am deadly accurate with men’s shoes as one way to determine Intellect.  Now, this is kind of a funny thing, and it is not as serious as my in-depth method; however, it works!  Here is my tutorial on men’s shoes.



In Method Teaming everyone in the world has one of four primary ‘Intellects’. Your Intellect is the way you channel your intelligence, not how smart you are. They are:

  1. EQs (often salespeople)

  2. Strategists (visionaries)

  3. Networkers (good at liaison, sharing)

  4. PDs (like to build stuff)


EQs will wear very expensive, name-brand shoes.  In the US, this will usually be Allen Edmonds, but occasionally classic British or Italian shoes. The EQ’s shoes are likely to be extremely well cared for and polished to a bright shine. Even though I am not an EQ, I am a Strategist, I wear Allen Edmonds shoes because I was told to by a gentleman in my youth. That guy rose to be the number 2 person at Accenture. Whenever I see someone wearing Allen Edmonds shoes I know I’m about to be sold to.

Networkers will wear nice shoes, but always one brand down from the top.  So usually this will be Johnson & Murphy, or Cole Haan in the US.  I can tell the difference between these shoes and Allen Edmonds in a heartbeat.

PDs wear extremely practical and comfortable shoes. These could be shoes that have been re-soled 5 times.  They will not usually be too shined, and frequently a bit scuffed.  Rubber soles are a favorite of PDs because of their practicality.

Strategists would wear no shoes at all if they could.  But Strategists’ shoes may always have something a bit different about them.  I know a Strategist who travels around with a container filled with 12 different colors of shoelaces.  Color is extremely important for Strategists.  We think in color and ascribe color to many different things including assignments, and our mood in general, and our ideas.  Loud socks may also give away a Strategist. But some of the other Intellects are homing in on the sock thing, so it is not quite as useful as it used to be.

Well, there you have it.  If you haven’t been to our class on By-Intellect Selling, you can always look at the shoes.

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