Incompetence Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old incompetence quotes, incompetence sayings, and incompetence proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Incompetence is a double-edged banana.     

John Perry Barlow

Obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence.     

Robert A. Heinlein

Incompetence is often highly regarded in governmental circles.     

William Wallace

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

Laurence J. Peter

Incompetence is certainty in the absence of expertise. Overconfidence is certainty in the presence of expertise.     

Malcolm Gladwell

Inconsistency, incompetence, and lies are all cut short by the ground. It will stop you if you can't stop yourself.     

Mark Twight

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

Bruce Catton

Arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence. Not a pretty cocktail of personality traits in the best of situations. No sirree. Not a pretty cocktail in an office-mate and not a pretty cocktail in a head of state. In fact, in a leader, it's a lethal cocktail.     

Graydon Carter

Never attribute to malevolence what is merely due to incompetence.     

Arthur C. Clarke

One of the chief features of incompetence was an inability to see it in oneself.     

Kim Stanley Robinson

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

Robert Kiyosaki

Incompetence is the true crisis.     

Albert Einstein

It happens; incompetence is rewarded more often than not.     

Jeff Lindsay

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

Roberto Cavalli

The problem with incompetence is its inability to recognize itself.     

Orrin Woodward

The English think that incompetence is the same thing as sincerity.     

Quentin Crisp

Secrecy breeds incompetence because where there is failure, failure is kept secret.     

Julian Assange

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

Laurence J. Peter

Authoritarianism and secrecy breed incompetence; the two feed on each other. It's a vicious cycle. Governments with authoritarian tendencies point to what is in fact their own incompetence as the rationale for giving them yet more power.     

Josh Marshall

Incompetence is a better explanation than conspiracy in most human activity.     

Peter Bergen

If there is any one proof of a man's incompetence, it is the stagnant mentality of a worker who, doing some small routine job in a vast undertaking, does not care to look beyond the lever of a machine, does not choose to know how the machine got there or what makes his job possible, and proclaims that the management of the undertaking is parasitical and unnecessary.     

Ayn Rand

Always assume incompetence before looking for conspiracy.     

Niccolo Machiavelli

Incompetence, in my books, is the failure of the critical faculties to interfere constructively with the natural flow.     

Robert Genn

Man cannot live by incompetence alone.     

Charlotte Whitton

The price of loyalty is incompetence.     

Jonathan Alter

One moment of incompetence can be fatal.      

Frank Herbert

Laziness has become the chief characteristic of journalism, displacing incompetence.     

Kingsley Amis

The most dangerous irony is, people are angry with others because of their own incompetence.     

Amit Kalantri

Any constraint is part of the skeleton that you build the composition on - including your own incompetence.     

Brian Eno

The Andrew Principle is when the incompetence of an organization exceeds the incompetence of certain individuals within that organization, thereby allowing their promotion within said organization.     

Chris Alexander