Laurence J. Peter remade management tactics and perceptions forever when he and co-author Raymond Hull first published this funny, best-selling business classic in 1969. The title became the standard description of the pervasive, almost ineradicable management problem they describe: If you – or anyone else – perform well at your job, you will get promoted, but there’s a catch. Your first promotion is likely to move you to a position that demands most of the same skills you used at your previous position. If you do well at your new job, you will get promoted again. Each time you get promoted, your new position will require fewer and fewer of the skills, perceptions, habits or managerial abilities that enabled you to shine at your first job. At some point in this cycle of recurring promotion, you will get promoted into a job for which you aren’t prepared and can’t perform. You will “rise to [your] level of incompetence.” And there you will stay.
About the Authors
Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990) held an EdD from Washington State University. His other books include The Peter Prescription and The Peter Pyramid. Raymond Hull (1919-1985) was a Canadian playwright, television screenwriter and lecturer. He is known for the saying “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”