An Army buddy reminded me about the Hammerstein-Equord leadership model. Below is a story initially published on SSD in May, 2012.
In the mid-1800s a Prussian Field Marshal named Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke developed a means to evaluate his officers.
Smart & Lazy – I make them my Commanders because they make the right thing happen but find the easiest way to accomplish the mission.
Smart & Energetic – I make them my General Staff Officers because they make intelligent plans that make the right things happen.
Dumb & Lazy – There are menial tasks that require an officer to perform that they can accomplish and they follow orders without causing much harm.
Dumb & Energetic – These are dangerous and must be eliminated. They cause things to happen but the wrong things so cause trouble.
I’ve also seen this attributed to various German Army leaders beginning in the inter-war years and seems to convey prevailing thinking. It boils leadership down into its simplest form and measures the leader on two axes: Intelligence (competence) and industriousness (or lack thereof).
As Chief of the Army High Command, the Anti-Nazi Gen Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord oversaw the composition of the German manual on military unit command (Truppenführung), dated 17 October 1933. In it, he proposed a classification scheme for military leaders.
‘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.’
Remember, in the German model, the most promising go to the General Staff for grooming. In the American model, the best and brightest take command. Considering that, do you think its still a viable model?