My latest in Quartz…
I really hate the “Peter principle“—the idea that people get promoted up to their level of incompetence.
The very concept suggests there is a limit to people’s growth. It assumes a fixed mindset on the part of the person stuck in a role they’re not immediately equipped to handle, and a lack of support from those in a position to help this person develop their talent.
Research shows that having a growth mindset (which mainly comes down to the belief that your talent isn’t a fixed commodity but rather a resource that can be developed) is a healthier and more effective route to success, and creating work environments supportive of this is an accelerant.
The Peter principle, then, can be broken by cultivating growth—as individuals and as organizations.
One of the biggest things that any individual can do to escape the fate of the Peter principle is to invest in becoming more coachable. It’s a powerful catalyst for individual growth, and it offers long-lasting effects—because coachable people are easier and more rewarding to help, they get more help and do more with it.
If you’re ready to invest in making yourself more coachable, here are some good ways to start.
Credit to my coach @DaniRukin for the idea of “getting curious”, and @Folletto for reading a draft and giving feedback. Credit as always to my editor, @HeatherLandy.