History Main / ThePeterPrinciple

22nd Sep '17 8:34:55 AM BeerBaron
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius is a shining example. He actually is an incredibly talented [[MagicKnight Battlemage]], which helped him to rise through the ranks of the Guild. However, he quickly proved hopelessly incompetent at managing Guild affairs. His mainland superiors responded by promoting him further (in the KickedUpstairs fashion) and putting him in charge of the Guild branch in [[ReassignedToAntarctica the most backwater district in the Empire]] where he could cause the least amount of trouble. He let in a [[TheMole badly disguised spy]] (whose credentials even had High Chancellor Ocato's ''signature'' [[YouMakeMeSic spelled wrong]]), spends his time giving his underlings (who consider him a PointyHairedBoss) {{Impossible Task}}s and sending them on {{Snipe Hunt}}s, all while generally acting petty and immature to those who offend him. When the PlayerCharacter comes to him for assignments, he sends you on a task to [[RiddleForTheAges learn about the disappearance of the]] [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]], and is shocked when you actually manage to find a plausible answer. Then he sends you on a mission to [[SuicideMission kill all of the Telvanni councilors]]. While there is a peaceful way to deal with him, it leaves you as the ''co''-head of the Guild with Trebonious, which is obviously less desirable. You can instead [[ChallengingTheChief challenge him in a duel to the death for his position]], receiving it as a KlingonPromotion if you win. However, need we remind you that he ''is'', despite his other flaws, a very talented Battlemage?

to:

* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
**
In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'', ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius Artorius is a shining example. He actually is an incredibly talented [[MagicKnight Battlemage]], which helped him to rise through the ranks of the Guild. However, he quickly proved hopelessly incompetent at managing Guild affairs. His mainland superiors responded by promoting him further (in the KickedUpstairs fashion) and putting him in charge of the Guild branch in [[ReassignedToAntarctica the most backwater district in the Empire]] where he could cause the least amount of trouble. He let in a [[TheMole badly disguised spy]] (whose credentials even had High Chancellor Ocato's ''signature'' [[YouMakeMeSic spelled wrong]]), spends his time giving his underlings (who consider him a PointyHairedBoss) {{Impossible Task}}s and sending them on {{Snipe Hunt}}s, all while generally acting petty and immature to those who offend him. When the PlayerCharacter comes to him for assignments, he sends you on a task to [[RiddleForTheAges learn about the disappearance of the]] [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]], and is shocked when you actually manage to find a plausible answer. Then he sends you on a mission to [[SuicideMission kill all of the Telvanni councilors]]. While there is a peaceful way to deal with him, it leaves you as the ''co''-head of the Guild with Trebonious, which is obviously less desirable. You can instead [[ChallengingTheChief challenge him in a duel to the death for his position]], receiving it as a KlingonPromotion if you win. However, need we remind you that he ''is'', despite his other flaws, a very talented Battlemage?Battlemage?
** Other games, including ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', show that this is unfortunately ''very'' common with the Mages Guild. Being skilled with magic does not automatically translate to being a skilled administrator, leading to many {{Pointy Haired Boss}}es in high-ranking positions within the Guild. When they became detrimental, they'd either (like Trebonius above) be KickedUpstairs and/or ReassignedToAntarctica to keep them out of them way.
16th Sep '17 2:22:30 AM KJMackley
Is there an issue? Send a Message


-->"If I may be so bold... it was a mistake for you to accept promotion. Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material."

to:

-->"If ->''"If I may be so bold... it was a mistake for you to accept promotion. Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material.""''
16th Sep '17 2:22:02 AM KJMackley
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

-->"If I may be so bold... it was a mistake for you to accept promotion. Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material."
-->-'''Spock''' (to Admiral Kirk), ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan''
28th Aug '17 8:25:14 PM rjd1922
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* another RealLife example: Hermann Göring. A 22-victory AcePilot and winner of ''Pour le Merite'' (the coveted ''Blue Max''), he commanded ''Jasta 11'' after Manfred von Richthofen's death in 1918 and ''Jagdgeschwader I'' (of which ''Jasta 11'' was a part) until the end of WWI. He was recognized as a dashing pilot and an able wing commander: he found his level of incompetence in WWII as ''Generalfeldmarschall'' and [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons commander of the Luftwaffe]]. He promised more than Luftwaffe was able to provide, and his [[ThoseWackyNazis pomposity and leadership style]] was simply not suitable for such position. The prescription painkiller addiction that eventually forced him to ''de facto'' retire in 1943 surely didn't help.

to:

* another RealLife Another Real Life example: Hermann Göring. A 22-victory AcePilot and winner of ''Pour le Merite'' (the coveted ''Blue Max''), he commanded ''Jasta 11'' after Manfred von Richthofen's death in 1918 and ''Jagdgeschwader I'' (of which ''Jasta 11'' was a part) until the end of WWI. He was recognized as a dashing pilot and an able wing commander: he found his level of incompetence in WWII as ''Generalfeldmarschall'' and [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons commander of the Luftwaffe]]. He promised more than Luftwaffe was able to provide, and his [[ThoseWackyNazis pomposity and leadership style]] was simply not suitable for such position. The prescription painkiller addiction that eventually forced him to ''de facto'' retire in 1943 surely didn't help.



* Creator/JohnRomero's admittedly high skill as a programmer and designer did not translate to any skill whatsoever as a project leader, manager or administrator. This was painfully evident throughout the ''VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}'' debacle.
** The same could be said of Ultima's Richard Garriott during Ultima VIII and IX.
* Captain Ernest Medina, who was indirectly responsible of the My Lai massacre. He had been a mustang (an officer risen from enlisted ranks) and he had been an excellent sergeant. Unfortunately he was completely unsuitable as an officer. He did not support his men, and he used one of his platoon leaders, Lt. William Calley, as a ChewToy and bullied him relentlessly. It didn't help Calley ''himself'' was somewhat TheNeidermeyer and incompetent as an officer (he didn't know how to read map e.g.). In the aftermath of My Lai, both officers were drummed out of service, and Medina barely avoided prison.

to:

* Creator/JohnRomero's admittedly high skill as a programmer and designer did not translate to any skill whatsoever as a project leader, manager or administrator. This was painfully evident throughout the ''VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}'' debacle.
**
debacle. The same could be said of Ultima's ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'''s Richard Garriott during Ultima VIII ''Ultima VIII'' and IX.
''IX''.
* Captain Ernest Medina, who was indirectly responsible of for the My Lai massacre. He had been a mustang (an ([[UpThroughTheRanks an officer risen from enlisted ranks) ranks]]) and he had been an excellent sergeant. Unfortunately Unfortunately, he was completely unsuitable as an officer. He did not support his men, and he used one of his platoon leaders, Lt. William Calley, as a ChewToy and bullied him relentlessly. It didn't help Calley ''himself'' was somewhat TheNeidermeyer and incompetent as an officer (he didn't know how to read map e.g.). In the aftermath of My Lai, both officers were drummed out of service, and Medina barely avoided prison.
9th Aug '17 12:31:21 PM Jake
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* another RealLife example: Hermann Göring. A 22-victory AcePilot and winner of ''Pour le Merite'' (the coveted ''Blue Max''), he commanded ''Jasta 11'' after Manfred von Richthofen's death in 1918 and ''Jagdgeschwader I'' (of which ''Jasta 11'' was a part) until the end of WWI. He was recognized as a dashing pilot and an able wing commander: he found his level of incompetence in WWII as ''Generalfeldmarschall'' and [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons commander of the Luftwaffe]]. He promised more than Luftwaffe was able to provide, and his [[ThoseWackyNazis pomposity and leadership style]] was simply not suitable for such position.

to:

* another RealLife example: Hermann Göring. A 22-victory AcePilot and winner of ''Pour le Merite'' (the coveted ''Blue Max''), he commanded ''Jasta 11'' after Manfred von Richthofen's death in 1918 and ''Jagdgeschwader I'' (of which ''Jasta 11'' was a part) until the end of WWI. He was recognized as a dashing pilot and an able wing commander: he found his level of incompetence in WWII as ''Generalfeldmarschall'' and [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons commander of the Luftwaffe]]. He promised more than Luftwaffe was able to provide, and his [[ThoseWackyNazis pomposity and leadership style]] was simply not suitable for such position. The prescription painkiller addiction that eventually forced him to ''de facto'' retire in 1943 surely didn't help.
16th Jul '17 11:02:40 PM bombadil211
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** By extension, Dwight would be a clear example of this too if he ever got promoted, and even Jim Halpert, who is very intelligent but still somewhat immature, has fallen victim to this. The case with Dwight ends up subverted by the series' end, as he undergoes a bit of CharacterDevelopment and learns to respect his coworkers, leading him to take on the Regional Manager job on a permanent basis. By this point, everyone is actually ''happy'' for him, and he performs admirably in the position.

to:

** By extension, Dwight would be a clear example of this too if he ever got promoted, and even Jim Halpert, who is very intelligent but still somewhat immature, has fallen victim to this. The case with Dwight ends up subverted by the series' end, as he undergoes a bit of CharacterDevelopment and learns to respect his coworkers, leading him to take on the Regional Manager job on a permanent basis. By this point, everyone is actually ''happy'' for him, and he performs admirably in the position. position, even making dramatic personnel decisions that everyone acknowledges are for the best.
1st Jul '17 12:55:31 PM MBG
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Visser Three, the BigBad of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', is heavily implied to be a case of this. He's pretty good as a low-level planner or squad leader in the ''Chronicles'' books, and he's ''[[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking fantastic]]'' as a soldier due to the brute strength of his morphed body and AxCrazy nature. As the organizer of a large-scale stealth infiltration of humanity, however, he's so unused to noncombat scenarios and so mentally unstable that he becomes a GeneralFailure who [[BadBoss murders his own troops for fun]], splurges resources on feats of CartoonishSupervillainy, and constantly itches to blow cover and start shooting.


Added DiffLines:

** Creator/BrianMichaelBendis, another major figure at Marvel, made his name on books like ''ComicBook/{{Alias}}'', ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'', and ''Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan'', which featured slow-burn pacing, street-level stories, personal stakes, small casts, and a relative blank slate to work with. His success there led to him being given the responsibility of writing books on a greater scale, with lots of pre-established characters and continuity (big team books or {{Crisis Crossover}}s). There, his writing is at best controversial - blank-slate approaches leading to OutOfCharacter moments and [[CriticalResearchFailure forgetting crucial details]], an expanded cast showing a lack of variety in personalities he could write, bigger stakes and powerscales were something he just didn't have the creativity to support, and slow-burn pacing leading to [[{{Filler}} issues in action stories where nothing really happens and there's no action]].
20th Jun '17 12:28:04 PM DVB
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Team Dai-Gurren in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. Fighting an action filled, explosion riddled resistance? Easily done. Slowing down after the fighting and running the government you're in charge of? No thanks. Most of them are aware of this and the fighters struggle to deal with their new jobs while the support team has it easier. Simon is on top, but Rossieu does most of the work as his second-in-command. [[spoiler: After Simon's wedding with Nia and her death seconds after, he leaves Rossieu in charge and Lagann to Darry]].

to:

* Team Dai-Gurren in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. Fighting an action filled, explosion riddled resistance? Easily done. Slowing down after the fighting and running the government you're in charge of? No thanks. Most of them are aware of this and the fighters struggle to deal with their new jobs while the support team has it easier. Simon is on top, but Rossieu does most of the work as his second-in-command. [[spoiler: After Simon's wedding with Nia and her death seconds after, he leaves Rossieu in charge and Gurren Lagann to Darry]].the twins]].
19th May '17 10:24:07 PM Kazmahu
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* This is the reason given, via AllThereInTheManual, for why ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'''s Indrick Boreale was such a raging GeneralFailure. He was one of the ''Literature/BloodRavens'' chapter's greatest scout snipers, but his achievements lead to him being promoted far above his level of competence, culminating in him being given the unenviable task of trying to subjugate an entire solar system overrun with over a half dozen different enemy factions, with predictable results.

to:

* This is the reason given, via AllThereInTheManual, for why ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'''s Indrick Boreale was such a raging GeneralFailure. He was one of the ''Literature/BloodRavens'' chapter's greatest scout snipers, but his achievements lead to him being promoted far above his level of competence, culminating in him being given the unenviable task of trying to subjugate an entire solar system overrun with over a half dozen different enemy factions, with predictable results. Cyrus in the sequel is a deliberate defiance of the trope both in- and out-of-universe, being a scout sniper revered for his competence who [[AlmightyJanitor refuses to be promoted past Training Sergent]] because he feels his skills are best suited to that position.
4th May '17 2:22:42 AM morane
Is there an issue? Send a Message



* Avoiding this trope in real life is one of the primary reasons many modern militaries discharge or retire members who go more than a certain length of time without being promoted. The idea is to make room for younger, and potentially more talented, members to be promoted to those positions.
** One of the challenges is that different ranks require different skills. Those in higher positions, by necessity, need to become bureaucrats and administrators, for example. For this reason, YMMV in terms of how much Peter Principle applies to specific individuals. Erwin Rommel, for example, was an outstanding tactician and was quite indisputably in the top twenty tacticians in the entire German Army. However, his failings as a logistician and administrator resulted in questionable performance as a Corps and Army commander (in North Africa) and poor performance as an Army Group commander (in France).
** This is one of the purposes of the Warrant Officer corps. Warrant officers are officers in the traditional sense, but are usually (almost exclusively) recruited up from the NCO ranks. However, where Commissioned Officers are trained to lead successively larger numbers of troops and everything that entails, Warrant Officers are technical specialists, who continue to hone and use the technical skills they received as Enlisted personnel. Most NCO's are trained to lead troops with their Commissioned Officers, other Enlisted gain technical skills the military don't want wasted...therefore they have a separate track for them to continue to use the valuable skills the organization needs...rather than waste them on trying to lead troops, for which they are not really trained.



** Avoiding this trope in real life is one of the primary reasons many modern militaries discharge or retire members who go more than a certain length of time without being promoted. The idea is to make room for younger, and potentially more talented, members to be promoted to those positions.
*** One of the challenges is that different ranks require different skills. Those in higher positions, by necessity, need to become bureaucrats and administrators, for example. For this reason, YMMV in terms of how much Peter Principle applies to specific individuals. Erwin Rommel, for example, was an outstanding tactician and was quite indisputably in the top twenty tacticians in the entire German Army. However, his failings as a logistician and administrator resulted in questionable performance as a Corps and Army commander (in North Africa) and poor performance as an Army Group commander (in France).
*** This is one of the purposes of the Warrant Officer corps. Warrant officers are officers in the traditional sense, but are usually (almost exclusively) recruited up from the NCO ranks. However, where Commissioned Officers are trained to lead successively larger numbers of troops and everything that entails, Warrant Officers are technical specialists, who continue to hone and use the technical skills they received as Enlisted personnel. Most NCO's are trained to lead troops with their Commissioned Officers, other Enlisted gain technical skills the military don't want wasted...therefore they have a separate track for them to continue to use the valuable skills the organization needs...rather than waste them on trying to lead troops, for which they are not really trained.
* Hermann Göring. A 22-victory AcePilot and winner of ''Pour le Merite'' (the coveted ''Blue Max''), he commanded ''Jasta 11'' after Manfred von Richthofen's death in 1918 and ''Jagdgeschwader I'' (of which ''Jasta 11'' was a part) until the end of WWI. He was recognized as a dashing pilot and an able wing commander: he found his level of incompetence in WWII as ''Generalfeldmarschall'' and commander of the Luftwaffe. He promised more than Luftwaffe was able to provide, and his pomposity and leadership style was simply not suitable for such position.

to:

** Avoiding this trope in real life is one of the primary reasons many modern militaries discharge or retire members who go more than a certain length of time without being promoted. The idea is to make room for younger, and potentially more talented, members to be promoted to those positions.
*** One of the challenges is that different ranks require different skills. Those in higher positions, by necessity, need to become bureaucrats and administrators, for example. For this reason, YMMV in terms of how much Peter Principle applies to specific individuals. Erwin Rommel, for example, was an outstanding tactician and was quite indisputably in the top twenty tacticians in the entire German Army. However, his failings as a logistician and administrator resulted in questionable performance as a Corps and Army commander (in North Africa) and poor performance as an Army Group commander (in France).
*** This is one of the purposes of the Warrant Officer corps. Warrant officers are officers in the traditional sense, but are usually (almost exclusively) recruited up from the NCO ranks. However, where Commissioned Officers are trained to lead successively larger numbers of troops and everything that entails, Warrant Officers are technical specialists, who continue to hone and use the technical skills they received as Enlisted personnel. Most NCO's are trained to lead troops with their Commissioned Officers, other Enlisted gain technical skills the military don't want wasted...therefore they have a separate track for them to continue to use the valuable skills the organization needs...rather than waste them on trying to lead troops, for which they are not really trained.
* another RealLife example: Hermann Göring. A 22-victory AcePilot and winner of ''Pour le Merite'' (the coveted ''Blue Max''), he commanded ''Jasta 11'' after Manfred von Richthofen's death in 1918 and ''Jagdgeschwader I'' (of which ''Jasta 11'' was a part) until the end of WWI. He was recognized as a dashing pilot and an able wing commander: he found his level of incompetence in WWII as ''Generalfeldmarschall'' and [[NazisWithGnarlyWeapons commander of the Luftwaffe. Luftwaffe]]. He promised more than Luftwaffe was able to provide, and his [[ThoseWackyNazis pomposity and leadership style style]] was simply not suitable for such position.
This list shows the last 10 events of 244. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ThePeterPrinciple