Leaders: Smart-but-evil versus Dull-but-good?
Who's better in a leadership position, a smart but evil person or an unintelligent but good person?
There are different kinds of unintelligent people. For one thing, some not-so-smart folks know they’re not so smart and have learned some simple tactics to cope with their inadequate intelligence.
For instance, in managing software, such managers will refrain from micromanaging their programmers, whereas the smart-evil person is quite likely to interfere with the development and testing work.
What you want in a manager is a person who knows how and when to delegate, understands their own limitations, and cares about improving the environment for all the people on the staff. You don’t have to be all that smart to do that.
But if you are an evil person, your intelligence may be serving the wrong master. It may happen that your intelligent moves help your employees, but that’s not what you’re attempting to do, so it’s hit or miss.
I’ve worked for both kinds of managers, and I would never again work for a smart-evil person. Never.
I worked for a smart but evil manager once upon a time. When I discovered that I couldn't trust him, I took Robert Sutton's advice and did a lateral move to get away. Eventually his B.S. caught up with him and he left.
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