Posts Tagged ‘office politics’

The Politics of PromotionMastering politics is essential for advancement in the workplace, particularly at the management or executive level. In The Politics of Promotion, executive coach Bonnie Marcus explains that talent and hard work are not enough; to get promoted the way men do, women must learn the unwritten rules of the game, gather insider information, manage their images, and build influence with key stakeholders and decision makers. By acknowledging and understanding the need for politics and using Marcus’ Political Toolkit, women can effectively navigate their organizations’ political landscapes to rapidly move ahead.

The author believes that:

  • Many women mistakenly believe that hard work and talent will eventually lead to promotion, and they ignore the importance of workplace politics. Their failure to establish and manage strategic professional relationships often leads to them being passed over for promotions or even asked to step down.
  • High-achieving women face obstacles their male counterparts do not, including subtle gender bias and self-limiting attitudes and behaviors. Factors that keep women from getting ahead include lack of confidence, fear of being seen as unlikable or aggressive, failure to delegate, having a negative view of office politics, and being excluded from informal networks.
  • Career advancement requires political savvy. By demonstrating their value proposition, understanding workplace culture and dynamics, forming strategic alliances, seeking mentorship and sponsorship, and committing to executive coaching, women can remove roadblocks and achieve their career goals.
  • To get ahead and stay ahead, women must master Marcus’ Political Toolkit. This toolkit contains five metaphorical tools–the Mirror, Magnifying Glass, Pass Go and Collect $200 Card, Get Out of Jail Free Card, and GPS–that can help women put abstract political concepts into practice.
  • Continued career advancement demands dedication, ongoing self-evaluation, and being aware of ever-changing workplace dynamics. Highly developed political skills become even more critical at the senior level. Women must continue to use the tools that got them to the top to stay on top, but with a slightly different focus.

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93255873Politics exist in organizations of all sizes. This is because people by their very nature are political animals that constantly engage in power-seeking behavior. When not fully understood, the politics at play in professional relationships can prevent a person from achieving success. In The Office Politics Handbook, author and political scientist Jack Godwin, PhD, examines the role power and politics play in all social relationships. Through an exploration of political theory and examples of eight different politically powerful archetypes, Godwin offers readers tools to gain more power in their lives and greater participation in decision making on personal and professional scales.

Despite the fact that politics are an intrinsic part of human nature, most people do not know how to navigate the politics of their personal and professional relationships. It is only when people learn the true nature of interpersonal politics, or “micropolitics,” that they can acquire more power and success in their lives. Godwin offers the following insights on micropolitics:

  • People are political animals, therefore politics exist anywhere people are present. Politics is about power. Politics exist in any social relationship that facilitates the control of one human over another.
  • Politics is a social affair rooted in human nature. Those who master micropolitics, or politics on the most basic and interpersonal level, do so by pushing their sense of objectivity outward into social space, and downward into their primitive human nature.
  • The “political mystique” is composed of the acquisition of power and the distribution of power. To better understand how power is acquisitioned and distributed, it is necessary to break micropolitics into its most basic components: political structures, power instruments, and complex systems.
  • In order for people to master micropolitics, they must first journey inward. For people to be able to gain more power in their personal and professional relationships, they must first get in touch with their inner political animals.
  • By putting forth a political persona, people protect themselves and make better strategic decisions. Political personas are masks, or the strategic way people present themselves to the world that can be used to conceal a person’s vulnerabilities, such as their motives and interests.
  • By mastering the eight “Gods of micropolitics” a person can learn how to win people over in any personal or professional situation. The “Gods of micropolitics” are archetypes that represent the different ways people can use power and protect themselves against an adversary.
  • Everyone must assign themselves their own roles in life. Many people are assigned roles in life that have little significance. People must act on the foundation of freedom that is accessible to all humans to assign their own roles in life and work humbly toward fulfilling this goal.

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Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Drama-Free Office, The Blame Game, Outsiders on the Inside

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In The Blame Game, Ben Dattner examines the detrimental effects of focusing on the assignment of blame and credit. There is general acceptance that people should receive praise for good deeds, and they should not be blamed undeservedly. However, an overemphasis on culpability can create a negative work environment that hinders creativity, honesty, and teamwork. Dattner traces the origins of this obsession, explores the role of personality, and offers suggestions for creating an environment that focuses on future success instead of past mistakes.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: It’s All Politics, All Rise, Games at Work

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