Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dumb is Smart

I was in Mexico last week on SYNNEX business. There, I was introduced to Antonio, who is a friend of another Canadian Business man friend of mine. He is an awesome person – very generous with his time and just an overall nice guy. Antonio is a bit of a deep thinker and business philosopher. One line he uses which has served him well is “Act Dumb”. By acting dumb, he can ask lots of stupid questions. Also, people tend to underestimate him and want to help him. It also keeps him out of trouble.

Dumb is smart.

Interesting idea.

3 Comments:

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Amit said...

Hey Jim

Interesting Idea I must say! It's very true, you can get yourself into trouble in a sense by pretending to know more than you do. In reality and in the the long term, that won't benefit you because more will be expected of you which in turn can lead to your demise.

I'm going to try this, this week, to see what effect it has at work! ;)

 
At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Zlatan said...

very bright...

 
At 2:52 AM, Blogger Victor said...

Indeed you are right - My choice of words would be humbleness though - I just read these days an interesting article about Headman Bernardo Provenzano.

He may be in jail, but he reversed the Mafia’s failing fortunes and revitalized their image during the decade he was in power using a system that’s detailed in a new book by John Murray.

An article in The Guardian details his seven-point plan towards doing business, mafia style. Somewhat surprisingly, his business mantra was less “Make him an offer he can’t refuse” and more based on mediation and good PR.

Here’s my favorite part of his strategy - and I quote the article:
"Rule 7: Modesty
During his career, Provenzano transformed himself from a hired thug, to business investor, political mastermind and, ultimately, strategist and leader.
Part of his mystique was that no one really knew whether he was a genius or an illiterate chancer.
To emphasise his humble character and present himself as a simple man of the people he would write letters full of spelling and grammatical mistakes, and always signed off with the same humble apology: “I beg your forgiveness for the errors in my writing …”
Every letter ends with the same saintly and affectionate benediction and an apology for grammatical errors.
The bad spelling and schoolboy mistakes detracted nothing from the authority of its writer.
For a man who moved easily in the worlds of business and politics, it was apparently part of a carefully constructed image.
Investigators maintain his semi-literacy was a deliberate ruse.
Here at Business Hacks, we don’t support faking stupidity. But once you’re in charge, a little humbleness can go a long way."

One worry though - isn't this awfully too close to manipulation. I mean it is not real humbleness, is it ?

 

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