Without an understanding of office politics you will never become the most effective leader you can be.
In Office Politics: Part 1 I talked about why mastering politics at work is crucial to a leader’s success. Here in part 2 I’ll give you 3 ways to dissect the political landscape at your organization. What may at first appear rocky and treacherous often turns out to be manageable once you know the terrain. Here’s what to do.
There are 3 ways to understand what’s going on politically at your job:
Know the power structure in your organization.
The simplest way to do that is to track a few important decisions from start to finish. Check out who played what role in those decisions — this begins to tell you who holds the power and what power they hold.
Notice what makes people successful in your organization.
It differs with each new boss, new job, new company. Look for what behaviors are rewarded, who doles out the rewards, and what the rewards are — from big to small. Big rewards usually go to the people and the results that are most highly prized. What is it that these people are doing that you are not?
Observe who gets dinged, why, and by whom.
These are the behaviors you should avoid.
Understanding the political landscape is the first step in mastering the political game at work. In part 3 I’ll map out how to master that game.