The Peter Principle

You may be familiar with the Peter Principle that states,”In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” First espoused by Dr. Laurence Peter, this principle essentially means that, within an organizational structure, employees tend to be promoted as long as they perform competently. Sooner or later, they are promoted to their highest “level of incompetence” where they are no longer capable of performing well. And here they tend to remain stuck.

The Peter Principle I talk about here is different, however. This Peter Principle involves the Apostle Peter who was one of Jesus’ disciples who lived at Capernaum where I filmed The Centurion video. Peter was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee and being there gave me an opportunity to talk about this important leadership principle, which I have to credit to my Chief of Staff, Barney Barnes (every Sheriff needs a Barney)…

You can read more important leadership principles from Chief Barnes at his blogsite:

For those of you interested in seeing more of the Sea of Galilee, plus our wonderful meal of St. Peter’s fish, here are a couple of additional videos. Also featured are our guide and Biblical historian, David Dekker, and my travelling partner/cameraman, Gary Curry.

While we were at this restaurant, we had the opportunity to meet a famous Israeli general.



2 thoughts on “The Peter Principle

  1. Ray,

    It was great to see you on the Sea of Galilee sharing the 3 principles that are essential to true leadership. wouldn’t it be great if more people were really ready to “Go Fishing”. Effective honorable leadership is needed is so many places.

    Have a great day,


  2. Our Sheriff’s Office left the strategy of Community Policing on Sept. 11, 2001 and like many other agencies started focusing our attention on Homeland Security where the grant money was available. We formed SWAT Teams, Regional Dive Team, Regional Boat Team and joined the Regional Domestic Security Task Force. Quite simply, and without excuse we left our people who trusted us (fuel) standing on the sidewalks of their communities wondering “where did they go and why did they leave us”.

    My Sheriff asked me to re-connect Law Enforcement and the Community. Honestly, this is not an easy task but an important one. It’s like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. While we can do it, the scars or fracture marks are there and I am determined to at least ease them if I can’t erase them. I purchased “Community Policing” by Miller and Hess and began retraining our Deputies to Community Policing. I quite frankly stumbled across your book and website in a search for “Coactive Policing”.

    Your information is not just helpful, it’s going to be foundational study for the future of this agency.

    Major Maurice Langston
    Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office

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