Image via Pixabay.

Merit, as celebrated in the media, can be mostly a sham construct. It’s a feel-good concept, ripe for sound-bites, but hollowed out of all meaning.

Governments can tout the laudable concept of meritocracy all they like. But that doesn’t stop them from hiring their cronies and relatives, regardless of merit (and even in spite of the lack of merit.)

The wealthy, the politically well-connected, and celebrities scam and buy qualifications from prestigious schools for themselves and their children. But these enviable certificates do not make up for their lack of actual skill or knowledge.

There are any number of dubious industry awards that seem to only be won by PR-savvy folks. These are masters at making themselves look good. Not all winners are people who are actually excellent at what they do. Many industry awards may as well be PR Awards!

Obviously not all prestigious degrees are bogus and all awards are shams. Not all governments practise blatant nepotism. I do, however, wish we place more substance into the recognition of merit.

When we celebrate unearned or empty merit, we run the risk of placing these people into positions of responsibility. We cannot afford to have decorated but inept/inexperienced people in leadership positions of our governments and organisations. Inappropriate and inept leaders hiding behind sham merit causes damage to organisations and other employees.