Monday, May 7, 2007

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

As I was flipping through the channels recently I came across the movie Forrest Gump. Now, I’ve seen this movie quite a few times, but this time something dawns on me, “Gump isn’t very smart, yet he is incredibly successful.” I then start to think about how incredibly incompetent the executives at my company are, yet they are all highly compensated and successful. I deduce that not being very smart = success, high pay, high position.

The problem is that I am not dumb or incompetent. Well, like Gump would say “Stupid is as stupid does” and I have plenty of teachers around me to pattern stupidity from. In order to dumb down and thus be successful at my company I must pattern the idiots above me. I’ve come up with these top 5 idiotic behaviors that will lead to my success.

  1. Use Cliché’s. My boss as well as all the other big shots at my company are masters of using cliché’s. As I’ve written about in prior posts, they’ll rattle off the classics like “eat the elephant one bite at a time” or “sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees”. I have done extensive googling to find my own repertoire of cliché’s that I will use. I’ve come up with:

    Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it
    Let’s focus on picking off the low hanging fruit
    The balls in your court
    That’s thinking outside the box
    I think we can agree to disagree

    When they use a cliché I will follow up their cliché with my own cliché and see what happens. I hoping that they will see my skill at clicheing and take me as one of their own.

  2. Develop a Behavior Tick. One of the executives winks after he thinks he’s made a point. Another executive has a humming type laugh after he responds to a comment. I’m thinking about using an eyebrow raise or possibly doing a rhythmic table tap following comments I make.

  3. Sidestep Details. In the past I would walk through issues step by step to try and figure out exactly what the problem is. My new approach will be to come to broad and general conclusions to issues presented to me without investigating them at all. If employees try to give me specifics I can use behavior #1 and throw out a cliché to deflect their efforts to explain the issue.

  4. Avoid Planning. I will not put plans in place in anticipation of potential problems. I will instead wait for a major problem to occur, and then scramble to figure out what to do. Why bother with trying to plan for retirements, possible system issues, or even a disaster? Fly by the seat of my pants, I say! (Note the use of cliché, nice right?)

  5. Be Consistently, Inconsistent. I will take every opportunity to confuse my employees by constantly changing the objectives and strategy of my department. In addition I will make vague requests of my employees, and then wait till they complete the request to change my mind on what I actually want. Some days I will be happy and friendly, while others I will be completely nasty and harsh. Gotta keep them on their toes.

Hell, the formula of dumb = success worked for Forrest Gump, and it certainly works in real life as I’m surrounded by idiot executives at my company. If I can’t beat them, then I might as well join them (note: another cliché used). Wow, being dumb really isn’t that hard, now I’ll just sit back and wait for my promotion.


I agree, all that "logic" & "intelligence" & "being in touch with reality" is just holding people back. I think my big executive thing will be the overuse of airquotes.

Haha, great post!

I believe that Forrest Gump is one of the greatest unsung leading philosophers of our time.

With some executives, trying to get some sense out of them is useless - you might as well bang your head against a brick wall for all the good it will do. Trying to get a single good idea is like getting blood out of a stone. Executive ideas that work are as rare as hens' teeth. You can keep trying ntil the cows come home. They are all feather brained.

Why not start your own business? Sounds like you are already preparing for it.

My experience in corporate America tells me you'll be very successful!

Funny!!! I enjoyed reading every bit of this...I hope you do well in the competition!

A Cowboy's Wife

Today, I actually used 5 cliche's total. I used 2 in a meeting and 3 in talking with other employees. I can already see my promotion coming. LOL. Thanks for commenting everyone!!

Turtle King

Thanks for your comment on my post for the group writing project. I have seen my fair share of all the stuff you are talking about. It can be very frustrating. Good luck to you.

Hi, Turtle King,

Thanks for visiting my blog--and now here I am at your doorstep.

You've got a good cathartic outlet going here--speaking truths that are rarely spoken.

Don't let that workplace wear you down. You sound like someone who would do well with your own company or working for an entrepreneur rather than a corporation.

Get free advice at -- go to the tips and stories pages.

Best of luck to you!

Hi, Turtle King,

Thanks for visiting my blog--now here I am at your doorstep.

You've got a good cathartic thing going here—speaking truths that are rarely spoken.

Don't let that workplace get you down. You sound like someone who would do well with your own business or working for an entrepreneur.

Get free advice at – go the Tips and Stories pages.

Best of luck to you.

Amen Brother!!! I think my boss must have gotten his training from your company.

Thanks yet again for the comments. It's good to know there are other "Turtles" out there.

I appreciate your comments Marilyn. I really would like to run my own business or work for someone with more of a maverick mindset. Dinero, as always is the problems. I researched franchise and don't have the net worth for most quality franchise opportunities. I'll just keep plugging away.

Your funny! It is completely crazy that there is any truth to your posting, but there definitely is.

I loved it, Forrest Gump is a legend.

I personally relish the use of sports metaphors in the business world. These are great to hear when conversing with those "who just can't hang up their cleats."

Just a few dandy examples....

It's a slam dunk
Let's go for the home run
Pin'em to the mat
Let's do a full court press
Lets' huddle
It's another classic end around

The list can go on.... Has anyone undertaken research to determine the correlation coefficient between the use of these terms and degree of neanderthalic tendencies of the user??

robert edward cenek, RODP
Uncommon Commentary on the World of Work

Nice list Robert. Yes, there are way to many ex-athletes in the workplace that may have suffered to many concusions! LOL. They use the sports cliche relentlessly. No butt slaps though, at least not yet. Thanks again for commenting everyone.

Turtle Kin

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