“I hate corporate politics!”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that refrain. My guess is that if you’re in an organization, you too have gotten an earful about the wretched workplace dynamic called corporate politics.
After spending the better part of my career in the corporate world, I can honestly profess that I hate corporate politics too, but I also understand how important it is for leaders to demonstrate organizational savvy (and to avoid political missteps).
My life’s work, which I cherish, is to help leaders successfully navigate the challenges that come with leadership. My clients look to me for insights and direction for how to deal with a host of issues, including corporate politics.
While each situation has its own unique set of escape hatches and hidden traps, after much research, reflection, and real life experience, I now help my clients think about corporate politics with a few simple pointers:
- Corporate politics are as universal as breathing air… whenever you have three or more human beings together, you’ll more than likely experience political dynamics! And, yes, this also applies to your family, places of worship, educational institutions, clubs, etc.
- There are Good Politics and Bad Politics. We generally see good politics when individuals or teams influence dynamics/agendas for the overall good of the organization or business. Bad Politics, on the other hand, are simply self-serving and don’t generally benefit the organization’s overall agenda.
Will there always be good and bad politics? You better believe it!
It’s not always easy to figure out the good from the bad politicians; but, it’s worth the time and energy to do so. Understanding underlying agendas usually leads to helpful insights.
Bottom line: Reward good politics, and weed out the bad. Be a role model, and rest assured – as long as there are human beings in the workplace, there will be politics!