33 Quotes About Incompetence


Competency levels change from one project to another. Depending upon one’s skills and experience, they may have more competence for one, but not the other. These quotes about incompetence highlight the flaws that exist when we fall short.

“A certain combination of incompetence and indifference can cause almost as much suffering as the most acute malevolence.”

“A king, realizing his incompetence, can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. If only sons could see the paradox, they would understand the dilemma.”

“Always assume incompetence before looking for conspiracy.”

“But the useless always judge themselves as being important and hide all their incompetence behind authority.”

“Equal opportunity means everyone will have a fair chance at being incompetent.”

“Everyone rises to their level of incompetence.”

“I am, as I’ve said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.”

“I believe in discipline. You can forgive incompetence. You can forgive lack of ability. But one thing you cannot ever forgive is lack of discipline.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing, but my incompetence has never stopped my enthusiasm.”

“I have little tolerance for incompetence, sloppy thinking, and laziness.”

“If at first you don’t succeed, you may be at your level of incompetence already.”

“I’m sure it’s very obvious… how upset I am with incompetence and the lack of common sense in life. If I can sum up the reason… it’s that these characteristics are not benign.”

“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

“In an age of incompetence, I’ve been able to last in this crazy business. I actually know how to play my ax and write a song. That’s my job.”

“Incompetence is often highly regarded in governmental circles.”

“Incompetence is the true crisis.”

“It happens; incompetence is rewarded more often than not.”

“It has become almost a cliche to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.”

“Luck is always the last refuge of laziness and incompetence.”

“Man cannot live by incompetence alone.”

“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”

“Our government has become incompetent, unresponsive, corrupt. And that incompetence, ineptitude, lack of accountability is now dangerous.”

“Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence.”

“Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.”

“Sorcery is the sauce fools spoon over failure to hide the flavor of their own incompetence.”

“The problem with incompetence is its inability to recognize itself.”

“The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline.”

“There are few things more dangerous than a mixture of power, arrogance and incompetence.”

“Useful men, who do useful things, don’t mind being treated as useless.”

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

“When success and incompetence meet, disaster is not far away.”

“Why do we love the idea that people might be secretly working together to control and organise the world? Because we don’t like to face the fact that our world runs on a combination of chaos, incompetence and confusion.”

“Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.”

For some, embracing incompetence is a part of learning and discovery. These can lead to some of our greatest innovations.

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