Napoleon had it figured out.

Napoleon was supposed to have once explained to an inquirer, "There are four types of soldiers. The first are the dumb and lazy. These I make my infantrymen. The second are the smart and energetic. These I make my field commanders. The third type are the smart and lazy. These I make my generals."

The inquirer, then replied, "That’s just three types. What of the dumb and energetic?"

Napoleon, without skipping a beat replied, "I have them shot."

I often think of this now when I read blogs.

Comments (3)

  1. SoulSolutions says:

    This works well with our favourite quote:

    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

  2. Ola Karlsson says:

    This is one of my all time favorite quotes! (If you can call it a quote…)

    Being of course highly intelligent and somewhat lazy, I’ve been playing with the idea of using it when going to a job interview. However so far I’ve not been brave enough to try it, as I’m not sure how describing myself as lazy in front of an interview panel would go down 😉

  3. Steve Walton says:

    This quote, often mis-attributed to Von Clausewitz (first time I've heard it credited to Napolean) was actually said by Field Marshall Erich von Manstein, long after Napolean (or Von Clausewitz). He said it in German, and the best translation I've seen is:

    "The brilliant and energetic man makes the best staff officer. He handles routine work with accuracy and completeness.

    The brilliant and lazy man makes the best commanding officer. He tends to see the big picture accurately and avoids preoccupation with detail work which might distract him.

    The stupid and lazy man makes the best subordinate. He will do what he is told properly, no more no less.

    The stupid and energetic man, however, is to be avoided at all costs. He is quite capable of ruining the best laid plans."