Military virtues of the lazy

Lucy Kellaway was talking about a lazy executive and mentioned Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord's formula. I had heard it before attributed to Frederick the Great.

The idea is that you classify your officers as either clever or dull and then again as either industrious or lazy. The clever lazies are assigned the highest field commands; the clever industrious are put on staff; the dull lazies are left to follow orders; and the dull industrious you isolate and keep a watch over them.

I worked for an industrious fool long ago in Saudi Arabia. When we last heard from this blustery whirlwind of a man, he was taking a taxicab from Riyadh to Beirut.

Interesting to sort the Civil War generals into these bins. What's your sort look like?

The Quote Investigator has a nice piece on this slippery attribution.