Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter

Along with Parkinson's Law ("work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"), the Peter Principle has got to be one of the most famous unofficial 'rules' of business. While I haven't been able to read Parkinson's Law yet, I did manage to get my hands on The Peter Principle.

Simply put, the Peter Principle is this: "In a hierarchy, every employee will rise to his (or her) level of incompetence". Or in other words, you will be promoted until you become inept at your job, and then you don't get promoted anymore. (And if you're super-incompetent or super-competent, you get fired for disrupting the hierarchy).

The Peter Principle is a general truth written under the guise of satire. The question is, is the Peter Principle, which can be summed up in one line, enough to fill a book?

The answer is... probably not.

The first few chapters were funny, and there were a few chapters at the back which made me chuckle too, but perhaps half the book felt like the author was rehashing the same old thing. True, the examples are amusing, but to be honest, after a certain number, you can more or less tell how it's going to end. Person X is great at Y, then he gets promoted to Z and starts to stink. It was only when the author went into how you can pretend to be incompetent (these are the chapters at the end that I enjoyed) that I felt like the book started talking about something new.

Overall, it's an interesting read, although I think it could have been much shorter.

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