Avoiding the Peter Principle: ‘Every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence’

Nancy Faget

Why is it that some people have never heard of the Peter Principle? The principle holds true as much today as it did 40 years ago. When I interviewed librarians about their organizations and mentioned the Peter Principle, some respondents greeted me with blank stares. Those same respondents were able to point out instances where the principle held true, once it was explained to them.

So, in the interest of helping you take control of your own career and avoid the Peter Principle, I will start this article by boring you with a bit of history. I don’t mean to offend the small contingent of readers who find history thrilling. In fact, the history ...

Get Mid-Career Library and Information Professionals now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.