Are You On the Hierarchy of Incompetence?

I have been surprised to learn over the past few years that the idea of the Peter Principle has slipped from society’s social consciousness.

equality, wisdom, experience, unqualified

Promoted to the level of incompetency?

There’s nothing else quite like it so I feel we should retain this thought and its implications, otherwise, as they say, we’re doomed to repeat history (and it would be really nice if we could stop doing that).

The Peter Principal, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is an observation from the author Laurence J. Peter who wrote the book of the same name which came out in 1967. Merriam-Webster describes it thus:

“An observation: in a hierarchy, employees tend to rise to the level of their incompetence.”

Can I say that this is happening everywhere I can see, including my peripheral vision?

I am currently job hunting and, not only is ageism the most prevalent “ism” in the workplace (because, I think, no one is talking about it in the same way as the other “isms”) but we, as a country, are giving up and away our collective wisdom for a few less dollars pay. If this is happening nearly as universally as it’s happening here in Boston, then we are in big trouble my friends.

A podcast I was listening to the other day about creatives at work was begging bosses not to promote creatives to management positions only to justify giving them a raise. Why would you do that?

artist, talent, boss, supervisor, loner, oversee

Creative vs Management

Ok, if the creative is interested in management, yes, but why can’t you just give them a raise without promoting them to their level of incompetence? Many, many creatives are not management material nor would they want that in any way. The skill sets are SO different. There are creatives who can do both well (not impossible mind you, just unusual) but just not common.

My point is that promoting a creative to the management level, when they have no interest in management, means that the next step will most likely be that the creative will go elsewhere. This was the opposite of the goal, right?

If this is our new modus operondi, how are we going to truly move forward in this country?

What do you think?

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