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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Reader’s comment: Diligent – and stupid

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In response to Kathy Gyngell: Time for head girl May to let someone else have a go,

DrJiP wrote:

General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord, who started his career in the Kaiser´s army, said this about how he selects his officers:

‘I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy. Usually two characteristics are combined:

1. Some are clever and diligent – their place is the General Staff.

2. The next lot are stupid and lazy – they make up 90 per cent of every army and are suited to routine duties.

3. 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.

4. 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.’

May is so obviously in the last division here.

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