The four types of people

There are four types of guys in every company. If I was a consultant, I would put it as a two by two chart with two axes, like the one shown below.

Malevolence is just another word for evil, but it sounds so much better, doesn't it? And if you're thinking that there are people that have NO evil in them, fuck, bring those people to me.
Remember, I'm talking about corporations here. If you're thinking about bringin up people like Mothers and Mahatmas, while I would enjoy that discussion, note that those people would never be in corporations.


High intelligence low Malevolence people are just great to have around. Lets call them The Good Dudes coz frankly that's what they are. They have it together. They are focused on their personal benefits and careers, but have good lines that they wouldnt cross, and they demonstrate that they generally want to do the right thing and keep the company going in the right direction.

Low intelligence low Malevolence people - lets call them The Commons just because of how startlingly common they are - are ok to have around, if they take direction. Most of the people in a company are doers. You need people who are competent at what they do, and if they have enough intelligence to turn their share of the screws on the line everyday, fucking super. Otherwise Sayonara,

Low Intelligence, High Malevolence people - I call them Satan's Stupids - are the fucking biggest pains around. I say get rid of every single one of them as soon as you can identify them. These guys are not only dumb, but their self serving and evil behavior makes them incompetent, and all they're trying to do every single day is to shirk work, pander to the boss, and give the hardworking less malevolent types high blood pressure.

High Intelligence, High Malevolence people - lets call them The Iagos, first because mother-fucking-self-serving-devil-spawn is kinda long and second because no character represents the evil of this box more than Iago (Iago who? Aw come on!!! Othello? From this moment on I will speak no word? No? fuck he was a hard core villian dudes... fine - Saif Ali Khan's character in Omkara was modelled after Iago). Anyways... Iagos are the most dangerous people in your organization. Because they're hard to find out and are generally good actors. They come off to most people as one of the good dudes and are often able to keep themselves in sheep's clothing for long enough that they either quit and go to another company at a higher position, or get promoted and get so much exposure that one of real Good Dudes sees through his evil cloak.

NOw, you know which one you are. You don't have to tell me. You know.
I'm going to give you a few hints about how to identify others around you.

The Good Dudes: These guys, like I said, generally have it together. They know who their customers are are, and if you are one of their customers, you probably love them. They usually seem happy just because if they aren't they will either change the situation or leave. Very rarely, they're unhappy and bitching about their company. Mostly that prefaces their departure for greener pastures elsewhere.

The Commons: They're all around you. If you're one of their customers, you're probably not delighted, but marginally satisfied. They need clear and specific direction for relatively simple tasks, and tend to take a long time to learn how to do things. They're also mostly willing to help people around them, but if there is ambiguity involved, they may run to their trusted friends - or you - for direction.

Satans Stupids: These guys think they're hotter than they actually are. They're almost never willing to help out people around them, and are generally incapable of keeping most of their customers happy. They publicly make stupid statements, and generally have a very low awareness of the actual work going on around them.

And finally The Iagos: This is the toughest of them all. They keep most of their customers happy by mooching of the capabilities of others, or coming up with fantastic reasons for their failures, or by blaming somebody else foe a job poorly done. They hide behind truisms like "There is no right or wrong answer" or "Quality is number one" when they dont really have anything of purport to say. They schmooze and generally have a great rapport with many people in positions higher than their own, but their employees and peers are generally unhappy with them. They hire, raise and convert people to Satan's Stupids over time, and then use THEM to do their evil bidding.

Look around your organization or team. If you have The Good Dudes, you should take care of them. The Commons who can take direction, take care of them too. They will be your loyal soldiers. Satan's stupids are easy to identify and you should fire them immediately. And finally The Iagos, do not deal with them directly - they're capable of taking you down. Stay away from them, and make sure if possible that they do not get into a position of authority over you.

This is broken

The title of this post used to be a blog run by Seth Godin - a fascinating chap with an even more fasinating head. The blog has since been assimilated into another one of Mr Godin's blogs and has ceased to be much fun. The entire idea was to spot things that make you scream "THIS IS BROKEN", and bring it up to the rest of the world to see. Godin put them in seven categories based on why he thought they may have gotten that way.

It was all good fun, and when I had first heard about it, the idea of screaming out 'THIS IS BROKEN" whenever I see somthing that is just done so wrong connected with me quite a bit. (Out of my mouth the scream would be more like "This is fucking broken!! Which moron is responsible for this piece of shit? Bring him to me so I may roast him in his own spittle and condemn him to a life of pain and penury", since as you readers know, I am given to profanity, verbosity uncontrolled anger, and parenthetical digressions like this one. But coming back to the post at hand....)

You'll see Godin's talk and his aforementioned head below, and I promise I'm not stealing his thunder, but the reason I find this talk (and his now swallowed up blog) endearing and lasting in my memory is that he's not only pointing out things that are broken, but also pointing out reasons why they may be, and four of them are also reasons why so many people in so many corporations around the world are unhappy with their colleagues and are enduring bouts of hyperventilation every day at work.

Not my job: Where if it is not directly your responsibility, you just stand by and watch
Selfish Jerks: Where you do something that will benefit you in some twisted way (as in less paperwork), but will be more work for me
The world changed: Where you keep doing something because it was done that way when Tipu Sultan still ruled over Mysore
I'm not a fish: Where you dont think about the experience I will have using your shitty service or product.

See the talk. I hope you get what I'm talking about above.

Seth Godin at Gel 2006 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.