Peter Piper, Peter Principle


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Episode  081

On this episode…

Our two new topics of the week are some very interesting ones: The importance of casual relationships and the Peter Principle or the reasons why people become incompetent at work!

Casual Relationships

A recent study shows that while close friends remain to be important for our personal development, t building networks of casual acquaintances can boost happiness, knowledge and a sense of belonging.

We depend on friendly outsiders to bring us news of opportunities from beyond our immediate circles – and so the more of those acquaintances we have, the better.


Why are so many people so bad at what they do? The ‘Peter Principle’ (Laurence J Peter) may have the answer.

“Occupational incompetence is everywhere,” he later wrote in book on the subject. “Every employee tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence”

In Peter’s view, most people were promoted based on their current performance, with no real consideration of their capacity to take on greater responsibility.

The result is that we may be less good at our current job than the one before. As we climb one, two or three rungs up the ladder, our performance may be so bad that we no longer warrant a further promotion.

By this point we’ve reached our limits and fail to improve any more, and so we end-up irritating our colleagues and clients with our inability to do the job.


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