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Ngozi Adebiyi’s Business Nuggets: Categorized Foolishness



Most performance management measures in the workplace come with a ranking of A to D or one (1) to four (4). This is no different from grades on standardised milestone exams in the education sector. Once upon a time having a grade A required one getting 90% and above, a C grade being 70 – 79% and F being 0 -29% in secondary school.

Most beauty pageant contestants aspire to be ranked as top ten finalists and even better when chosen as the top five. Usually the 2nd runner up & 1st runner up get a bouquet of flowers each, and some other prizes before the beauty queen is crowned.

When tornado warnings and hurricane alerts go out or earthquakes threaten to strike, they are not only ranked on a Richter scale, they are named. I’ve taken the liberty to rank foolishness with the aim of throwing the spotlight on its varying spectrums thereby hopefully providing clarity that would help avert some of it at work and in life.

Category D
Category D foolishness can be depicted as foolishness only because of the high degree of risk involved in the actions, inactions, decision making and ways of working and/or living of these individuals per time. In real terms they experiment, try new things and create a path for others to follow….sometimes.

Category C
This is like the midpoint, a rest zone – majority of people get here every now and again. Category C foolishness doesn’t linger so it’s almost like ‘temporary foolishness” with a high degree and ability to self-regulate. When people make a bad decision and are able to come out of it quickly or find a way to apologise and get the parties involved back on track, they have exhibited category C in that time.

Category B
Entitled people typically fall into Category B foolishness. They feel they are deserving of special treatment and privileges at work and in life and act out selfishly. Category B foolishness is almost like “semi-permanent foolishness” so it’s important that when you encounter individuals who exhibit this type, what would help would be the acknowledgement that it’s a state/season; a determination to help change their mindset, then break the dependency on others to fix everything! It is a tough road to navigate, which is why it takes longer and seems to be of a semi-permanent nature. Throwing more light on this would hopefully bring awareness and create a shift for some.

Category A
This category can be termed the grand master of foolishness. From lacking the fear of God to disdain for authority and accountability, folks that display category A foolishness are “special”.
The individuals have no idea how their comments and behaviour turn tides and they generally seem clueless to the rippling effect of their actions.

It’s important to note that categorised foolishness is not an indictment on an individual, but on the display of one’s actions per time. Similar to performance evaluations and performance management ratings, individuals can decide to take feedback on their actions, truly and authentically course correct and work to reverse traits in any specific category.

“If it is ones lot to be cast among fools, one must learn foolishness.” ― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

Ngozi Adebiyi is the Lead Consultant at OutsideIn HR & Career/Leadership Coach @ OutsideInCoach. Our focus is practical interventions that address the challenges of businesses today. We specialise in HR Business Partnering & Leadership Development with the goal of revolutionising HR in Nigeria & consciously unleashing inner greatness! [email protected]


  1. IJ

    February 21, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Totally don’t get this article….it says business nuggets but eh…..

  2. matata mercy

    February 21, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Some times fools can become wise and the wise end up foolish especially concerning innovation and fore seeing the future

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