HARDWORKING IDIOTS

This article was forwarded to me and I had to blog it for future reference:


The German World War II general Erich von Manstein is said to have categorized his officers into four types.

The first type, he said, is lazy and stupid. His advice was to leave them alone because they don’t do any harm.

The second type is hard-working and clever. He said that they make great officers because they ensure everything runs smoothly.

The third group is composed of hardworking idiots. Von Manstein said that you must immediately get rid of these, as they force everyone around them to perform pointless tasks.

The fourth category are officers who are lazy and clever. These, he says, should be your generals.

The full articleis worth reading and applicable well beyond management. An old boss of mine often referred to it as ‘busy work’. He would ask ‘Are you doing busy work or are you selling?’.

Today, too many people feel a sense of accomplishment from having an empty inbox (I admit, it is nice) or from being ‘busy’. Too many people are ‘too busy’ to attend a training course to make them a better manager or sales rep. Too busy, too busy, too busy.

On a personal note, it is something I have pondering over the last week after I received an interesting piece of feedback – that I was hierarchical. Probing found that the person meant that while I was speaking with someone, I rudely broke off the conversation to engage in another conversation when someone higher up the line came by.

Upon reflection (other than realizing that I was a rude jerk for doing that, because I am not hierarchical in nature – far from it), I realized it was due to speed. Chances are I just flipped the switch and went down another track to deal with something not thinking about the casual conversation I was engaged in. My speed (being too busy) results in me shedding some of the finer points of etiquette to execute faster. Sad.

The best sales reps watch movies … time for me to watch a movie …. And taking that advice, I just watched 2 episodes of Supernatural (I really enjoy this show), Battlestar Galactica Razor (BEST show on TV), Transformers (yawn), Evan Almighty (Heart warming) and Live Free or Die Hard (His jumping off the bridge onto the jet was a little too much, but all in all – a very entertaining movie).

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