The Peter Principle
“Every new member in a hierarchical organization climbs the hierarchy until he/she reaches his/her level of maximum incompetence”
The Peter Principle states that everyone gets promoted to a level at which they’re incompetent. More generally Lawrence Peter observed that anything that works gets used to do other things until it fails. This is true even of ideas, and sometimes even failure doesn’t stop them being promulgated. Consider, for instance, economics as the primary example of an idea stretched beyond its elastic limit.
But at the top of the corporate tree are those executives who’ve somehow avoided becoming victims of the Peter Principle. Of course, simply becoming a CEO doesn’t disprove the idea, it just makes it more likely that we’ll have lots of incompetent business leaders who’ve become really good at blaming other people. And a survey of CEOs suggests that this is exactly true: they’re overrated, they’re overpaid and they don’t deliver for anyone apart from themselves. Why am I not surprised?