It’s probably about twenty years since someone first told me about the Peter Principle: namely, that in organisations, people tend to rise to their level of incompetence.  An individual does a good job of something thImageey are competent at, and carry on being promoted until their level of competence can take them no further. This results in the strange situation (all other things being fair) whereby a significant proportion of jobs are fulfilled by people who are actually unequal to the task.  In my darker moments, I sometimes feel as though my life has been a series of discoveries of things that I can’t do or am only modestly able to do (rather than finding that in which I really can excel).  Nevertheless, I am grateful that this is not the end of the story.  I understand that the ‘Peter’ in question was actually one Professor Laurence Peter, but the Peter that more readily springs to mind is the apostle of that name.  (I cannot think that I’m the first to make this connection, so please tell me if you know who did!).  Peter the Galilean fisherman knew a thing or two about failure but also, ultimately, a thing or two about grace, and about second chances.  He even denied his friend and teacher when the pressure was on.  How could he have lived with himself?  Fortunately it wasn’t just down to him – Jesus offered him friendship, forgiveness and reconciliation, and from that fresh start, an extraordinary life followed.  When I reflect darkly on my own too apparent limitations, perhaps I should remember this Peter and not the other one, and know that there is always a second chance.

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