Clever & Lazy

Gedenktafel_Breisacher_Str_19_(Dahl)_Kurt_Freiherr_von_Hammerstein-Equord

Many years ago a German general Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord explained:

I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent -- their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy -- they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent -- he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.

This is an excellent heuristic for staffing not only in the army, but also in business.

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