This is a very unique book. I dont even know who the author is, he or she is just called “V”. The advice is very genuine and does not sound like the usual type of do good or self motivational book. I think anyone who is working should read this book.
The author says that there are basically 4 types of soldiers (or people) in any organization. They are :
1. Dumb and lazy (that is, not ambitious)
2. Smart and lazy
3. Dumb and ambitious
4. Smart and ambitious
Dumb and Lazy
These are the sloggers, the bumblers, the tap dancers, and some days it will seem to you that three quarter of your soldiers are shaving their ass, but the percentage seldom exceed 50% in any organization, and is usually 25-30%. If given simple, clearly stated directions, bumblers will perform day-to-day routine tasks well enough, usually will be content with token raises and will be among your most loyal employees.
Smart and Lazy
This is the group that you should load up on. These people wouldn’t spend a penny to watch an ant stack a ton of hay, but they could find a needle in that ton if they had to. They must be continually prodded and they will produce. The smart and lazy will do most of the upper-level scutwork in your organiation.
Many managers regard the smart and lazy as dificult and try to avoid hiring them or keeping them. This is a mistake. They need only be motivated with a sharp stick. Oddly enough- perhaps not so oddly – a consigliere is often of this type. He lacks the inner fire to turn his brains into personal power, but he has the brains to do well as an advisor. This kind of people can be extremely useful.
Dumb and ambitious
This type can be recognized by the fact that he/she will be flattering you constantly. Up to a point, this type can be useful, since they work hard to curry your favor. They make efficient gofers. The point where they cease to be useful is reached when their egotism leads them to claim expertise and to accept tasks beyond the capacity of hard work and their bone-deep dumbness.
They are also so insecure that they do not work well for strong, capable lieutenants, nor does their overbearing (usually ill-hidden) conceit endear them to those who may work under them. They want to control, to rule, but they lack the tools. Finally for all their flattery of you, they also lack lasting loyalty. Any ambitious person is basically disloyal – he wants to displace the person above him. The dumb and ambitious do not, regrettably, have enough smarts to hold their ambition in check until the time is right to make their move without unduly disrupting the work of the organization. Consequently, the first problem of this nature that one of this type causes – let him out.
A word of caution : A dumb and ambitious solder may in spite of innate stupidity – possess cunning. Such a soldier is very dangerous in an organization and when discovered should be whacked because otherwise he will eventually betray you. This dummschlau is usually discovered in a small matter, if you are lucky and he is not quite cunning enough. Then you apply the principle “False in one, false in all and take the appropriate action.
Smart and ambitious
This type is the individual you give ever-harder tasks to and keep rewarding and promoting when he succeeds. As personalities they can be dour or quiet, or touchy or easygoing, grave or pleasant, whatever – but they succeed at what they’re given to do and engender success for the organization.
Ideally, you want individuals working for you who are deeply loyal to you; who are honourable, direct, courageous, creative, talented, energetic, quietl who have a record of meeting or exceeding the objectives set for them, who hold themselves and their deeds in the background; who seem to lack jealousy; who seem to think not of themselves but rather the goals of the organization; who seem not to grasp for power but who can wield authority when given it.