The Peter Principle is one of the oldest books we have on our bookshelf. It was published last 1978 and Peter and I can't remember exactly if the copy we have brought to our home is mine or his since both his folks and my grandpa owned one when we were little. The pages are brittle and brown with age but the words of wisdom inside transcend time and space. After all, it discusses PRINCIPLES. From the moment I read its reviews, I got so hooked that in a matter of 24 hours, I was able to finish it in between work, commute and errands. As compared to Stephen Covey's 8th Habit which is taking me forever to finish, Dr. Peter's style of writing is direct, factual, and straight to the point. I can actually relate (both directly and indirectly) with everything that he's written. Here are a couple of lines that struck me the most:
" In a Hierarchy, Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence"
This is so rampant especially in the field of Government or Public Administration. Some people are promoted to a job that is not fit to their skills. For example, a good Clerk IV may not become a good Manager someday because this new position entails a whole new level of skills that go beyond technical competencies but already deals with a bit of psychology and some management and leadership know-how. So, watch out for your career. You may be (or have already been) promoted to your level incompetence without you knowing it.
" Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence. "
How true! Those of us who have excelled and continue to do a great job in our respective line of work because, we haven't reached that level yet. We are still at a level of competence and so we continue to get results.
" In most hierarchies, as a matter of fact, employees with the greatest leadership potential cannot become leaders... Exceptional leadership competence cannot make its way within an established hierarchy. It usually breaks out of the hierarchy and starts afresh somewhere else. "
Exactly! Because people with exceptional leadership potential make their own way to become more efficient and productive, they usually don't follow rules. In doing so, they are deemed incompetent and stubborn. But the truth is, they are just too good for the bureaucracy and are better off forming their own companies and corporations.
" If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
As early as my elementary years, all I really wanted was to finish school with flying colors, get a good-paying job and do whatever I want (I've always known that I have so many interests and talents which I want to pursue if not one at a time, then all at the same time. I was the master multi-tasker. But I never really thought about what I wanted to be in particular, whether as a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, etc. I figured, if I graduate then I can have the first job that is offered to me. That was how desperate I was to earn money. So I became a teacher, then a marketing assistant, then a quality assurance supervisor, an executive assistant and now an HR officer. Even when I made my first mantra ("I am beautiful, gorgeous, happy, healthy, smart, sexy and wealthy. I have financial and time freedom. I'm enjoying wonderful new horizons of opportunities and I love my life!!!"), it was still so vague. No wonder I've been in this limbo for so long. Indeed, I just went with the flow of wherever life leads me. But I know better now. Thus, my new mantras which I've written on the upper right portion of my blog("I am the owner of condo rental units and the Sexy Nomad Hot Travel Essentials Shop").
There are still so many things written in this book that I'd like to share. But that would be tantamount to plagiarism already. If you got interested with what I put here, buy the book. It's just 144 pages long but the wisdom it will impart to you is timeless.