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“Are you lazy or just incompetent?” And 11 Other Ways to Respond to Stupidity

Jeff Bezos, not know for tolerating stupidity, offers 12 ways to respond in Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.

1. “If that’s our plan, I don’t like our plan.”

2. “I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?”

3. “Do I need to go down and get the certificate that says I’m the CEO of the company to get you to stop challenging me.”

4. “Are you trying to take credit for something you had nothing to do with?”

5. “Are you lazy or just incompetent?”

6. “I trust you to run world-class operations and this is another example of how you are letting me down.”

7. “If I hear that idea again, I’m going to have to kill myself.”

8. “Does it surprise you that you don’t know the answer to that question?”

9. “Why are you ruining my life.”

10. [After someone presented a proposal.] “We need to apply some human intelligence to this problem.”

11. [After reviewing the annual plan from the supply-chain team.] “I guess supply chain isn’t doing anything interesting next year.”

12. [After reading a narrative.] “This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team Document.”

And one bonus from Dan Pink’s conversation with Brad Stone:
[After reading a proposal.] “Do we have the right people working on this?”