The (Karin Jean-)Pierre Principle

Many of my readers (at least two!) may be familar with the long-established Peter Principle which states that in many organizations, people rise to - and are left at - the level of their incompetence. And I'm sure that we can think of many examples in our own corporate experiences.

Now, dear readers, I would like to propose the (Karin Jean-)Pierre Principle which states:

Promoting someone based on their identity, rather than ability, leads almost inevitably to incompetence which you are unable to fire.

For evidence, I'd like to offer the examples:

  • The titular Karin Jean-Pierre, promoted to White House Press Sec based on being black and a lesbian. If anyone would like to argue that ability featured in this promo, I'm all ears.
  • Kamala Harris as VP of the USA. Heaven help us.
  • Pete Buttgig as Sec of Transportation, advising all Americans to buy electric cars to save money.
  • Keisha Lance-Bottoms as mayor of Atlanta, Georgia; subsequently failing-up to be senior advisor and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement
  • Jayson Blair, former staff writer at the New York Times; they were eventually able to fire him but my goodness, it was hard going.
Notable counter-examples: Hillary Clinton (barely female, was kept out of any important jobs), Barack Obama (could actually give a good speech), Margaret Thatcher (one of the few competent UK Prime Ministers, and elected despite being female).