Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Incompetence: it's the rule, not the exception

If you think your boss is incompetent you're probably right; the whole world is run by incompetents. Barack Obama is the perfect example. And chances are that you, if you've been in your job for a while, are incompetent too.

The Peter Principle specifies that people advance through a hierarchy until they reach their level of incompetence, where they remain, mismanaging and making their underlings miserable. The theory was first put forward in the 1969 book The Peter Principle : Why Things Always Go Wrong.

According to Mark Buchanan, writing in New Scientist, research proves the Peter Principle correct:

Promoting the best-performing employees merely takes people out of positions where they are doing well and pushes them upwards until they arrive at a position for which they lack the requisite skills. Their promotion history then comes to an end: the Peter principle wins out.

"The system locks incompetence into place," says sociologist Cesare Garofalo, one of the authors.

So the next time your boss does something stupid don't blame him, blame the incompetent who promoted him beyond his level of competence.


Anonymous bingbing said...

So does that mean if I stay at my ESL job, I'll remain competent? After all, being a mere teacher means not being promoted.

But then again, as they say, if you can't do, teach. If you can't teach, do admin.


10:19 PM  

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