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The Peter Principle and How to Avoid It - Andrea Ruth

Avoiding the Peter principle

  • Commit to continuous learning: heading off to a career thinking you’ve learned all you needed to know for the next 40-50 years is a sure way to find yourself stuck in a position you cannot move beyond;
  • Be mindful of what you are good at: there are certain career fields each of us know we are not best suited for.

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The Peter Principle and How to Avoid It - Andrea Ruth

The Peter Principle and How to Avoid It - Andrea Ruth

https://michaelhyatt.com/the-peter-principle-and-how-to-avoid-it/#

michaelhyatt.com

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Key Ideas

The Peter Principle

It describes what can happen when an employee does well in one job and is subsequently promoted. She/he does well in the new role and is promoted again. This continues up and until the employee is put in a position where she stops performing well and is, therefore, left in a position where she is incompetent.

Avoiding the Peter principle

  • Commit to continuous learning: heading off to a career thinking you’ve learned all you needed to know for the next 40-50 years is a sure way to find yourself stuck in a position you cannot move beyond;
  • Be mindful of what you are good at: there are certain career fields each of us know we are not best suited for.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Promotion of Position = Demotion of Value
Promotion of Position = Demotion of Value

When a person is promoted, they usually turn to different responsibilities and roles which requires completely different skills and insights.

Later on, the company will notice that they made ...

Experience is not everything
Experience is a good thing, but this does not automatically make an employee the best person to be promoted to a more responsible job.

Before promoting an employee, the company should know the employee's level of knowledge, skills and ambitions. They should know if that person really deserves that spot. 

The Peter Principle

Also known as The Peter principle of Incompetence, it claims that people who do their job well are promoted to positions of greater responsibility, and so on, until they reach a position in whic...

Dilbert Principle

The Dilbert Principle refers to the idea that incompetent employees are being promoted to prevent them from causing harm, since higher level positions don't need to be involved in the production of the company, while people that perform well are retained to production jobs, to keep the company going forward.

The Dilbert Principle is just a variation of the Peter Principle and critics think that this principle is only valuable for amusement. 

Dilbert

Is a famous comic strip created by  Scott Adams that shows a humorous look in office life, but also manifests lessons on behavioral economics.

In a series of cartoons published throughout the 1990s, he coined the term the Dilbert Principle. The concept was so successful that in 1996 the book “The Dilbert Principle” was created, which became very successful and it ended up selling over a million copies.

Saul Syndrome
Saul Syndrome

The Saul Syndrome is based on a biblical character named King Saul who crumbled because of his lack of character and integrity. And because of his pride, he disobeyed the Lord's command. Saul’...

Peter Principle vs. Saul Syndrome

Peter principle is about promoting people to their level of incompetence.

Saul syndrome promotes people beyond their integrity and character.

Promotion = Competence + Character

Because a leader must teach his followers not only to be competent, but to also develop their character as they progress.

Responses to the Peter Principle

"Women and minorities were exempted from the idea because they often weren’t promoted despite their competence and so didn’t get the chance to r...

A Reverse Peter Principle

Most managers address the bad boss problem by getting out of the subordinate role as quickly as possible and, by improving their own leadership skills, becoming a good boss.

Incompetence is Everywhere

Incompetence can also be seen on how subordinates deal with their bosses.

Workers feel anxious on how their bosses think about them. Should I correct my boss? Does he think of me as a competitor? Am I capable enough? Should I take an action?

Of course, everyone would think of those question before making a move. But a wise subordinate know can recognize that a boss does not know what he needs and the best thing to do is address their suggestions to the boss. Why? Because the boss is the one with the greater power to act.

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The Peter Principle and Occupational Incompetence
The Peter Principle and Occupational Incompetence

Peter J. Lawrence, whose 1969 bestseller “The Peter Principle” satirically provided many insights on the hows and the whys of incompetents working among us, is now being taken more serious...

Different Competencies

The skills that made a great performer excel, the aggression and the drive, did not translate well when the same performer was in charge of a team, where other skills like people management come into play.

The best teacher of the school cannot be simply promoted as a school principal.

Hiring The Right Person

A manager wouldn’t be able to handle a team of specialists (like Doctors or Scientists) efficiently, without any direct experience. This makes excelling at the current role a huge requirement for anyone being hired as a manager.

A fine balance between the two aspects is required while hiring, with one option being to change the hierarchy of the company itself. The person can be promoted without a typical career ladder, and continue to do his current role, which he is doing well.

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The Peter Principle
The Peter Principle

It refers to an observation wherein people who perform well in their job gets promoted until eventually, they will reach a stage where they are incompetent for that job.

The Evidence for the Peter Principle

A study looked at promotions and performance of some 40,000 sales workers across 131 firms.

It showed that the best salespeople as measured by sales revenue are more likely to be promoted (top figure) but their value added as managers actually declines in their sales revenues (bottom figure).

The "Purpose" of Promoting Workers
  • To assign the suitable person to the managerial role.
  • To motivate workers excel in their current roles.

However, If firms promoted workers on the basis of managerial potential rather than current performance, employees may have fewer incentives to work as hard.

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Treat Everyone with Respect

When you're building a team or company, you simply can't afford to lose great people. Treat them with respect and you're one step closer to keeping them on your team long-term.

Encourage Dissent

To do great things, you and your people need to consistently think outside the box. You need people who feel very comfortable disagreeing with you, trying new things, tossing out new ideas, and being okay with the fact that several of their ideas may turn out to be outright awful.

Make the Final Decision and Move On

If you are the manager, make final decisions. And to do so decisively: evaluate all the options in front of you, hear and absorb everyone's arguments, and ultimately make the final call, with arguments. 

Even if you've expressed dissent as an employee, it'll benefit you to let your manager make their call and then focus on what's next, rather than staying preoccupied with past decisions.

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Creating your career

Most people never make a conscious decision about their careers and end up at a certain place, due to external factors and present opportunities. Their career path wasn't carved out or planned.

...
You Decide who you become

Here are Five Steps that can create your career:

1. Analyzing yourself.

2. Identify your industry

3. Improve your basic, universal skills

4. Start from Scratch

5. Continuous Self-Development

Self-analysis

When you analyze yourself, instead of pondering over what you are not good at, find out your strengths and sharpen them, turning a good skill into excellence.

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Setting employee expectations
A recent study reveals that almost half of all U.S. employees are unsure of what's expected of them.

Setting clear employee expectations can benefit your business. Management must co...

Employer/Employee expectations

Employee expectations to maintain:

  • Displaying a positive and respectful attitude
  • Working with honesty and integrity
  • Performing their work to a reasonable standard 

Employees expectations;

  • Proper training, support and leadership from management and access to resources
  • Timely and accurate payment of wages
  • Safe working environments
  • Explanation of responsibilities, company policies and procedures
  • Regular feedback from supervisors or managers.
Team expectations

Team expectations refer to the behaviors that occur while working together on tasks. 

  • Respect and courtesy to everyone.
  • Be accountable for your work.
  • Be reasonably flexible about task assignments.
  • Be willing to lend a helping hand.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Work safely together.
  • Be open to constructive feedback.
  • Be self-motivated and reliable.
  • Share ideas for improvement.
  • Be cheerful, positive and encouraging to other team members.

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Systems and Goals

Systems are personal habits that we incorporate into our daily routines.

Building a better system is better than putting additional effort to correct errors, struggling to rise upwards toward...

Talking Out Loud

Talking out loud helps spell out your intentions, and provides clarity.

Talking out loud about a problem allows you to better understand the problem, provides a certain detached view of the problem by framing it differently and can help identify possible solutions.

Learning

Teaching someone makes us learn the subject well, and we can identify our areas of improvement.

Similarly, self-talking is a great way to learn, as it makes us slow down and be single-minded. This is especially helpful while doing an online course or preparing for an exam.

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