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The Peter Principle Paradox

I must first make my disclaimer here. I am not the creator of the Peter Principle. I just happen to share his sir name with my first name.

“The Peter Principle states that an individual is promoted to incompetence”

The law suggests that if you do your job well you will be promoted often to a different job. If you then do that job well you will eventually be promoted again. This continues until you are promoted to a job where you become incompetent. This is where you will stay and due to your previous successes you are unlikely to be fired from this role but will receive no more promotion. This ends up with the idea that most people in position of authority are incompetent at what they do which is not true in many cases.

My first conclusion to the suggestions in this principle is that we need to better reward excellent personal at the more junior level to dissuade them from seeking promotion. However if you reward them too highly they might be earning more than their boss. The boss usually controls the purse strings and could take exception to their junior earning more than them which acts as a disincentive for their efforts.

A further paradox to the law is that sometimes people are promoted from incompetence to competence . The idea that to hold a certain position suggests that you can perform at all junior positions is not true. A good director might make a lousy manager. A teacher that is inadequate in the classroom could become an excellent head of a school. The skills for being in charge are not necessarily more difficult than those of the employee they are just different

I have identified four skills you must develop in most organisations if you want to be a CEO.

1 Administrative Skills 2 Delegating Skills 3 Accounting Skills 4 Public Speaking Skills

If you hope to reach the top, work on some or all of these four and you will arrive quicker than you think.

Peter Bull.

Published inIdeas Worth Consideration.

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