Make Office Politics Work For — Not Against — You

To many people the term “office politics” has negative, Machiavellian connotations.  Yet all organizations are political, so attempting to avoid office politics can really hamper your career ambitions.

In their new book, How Great Leaders Think, Lee Bolman and Terry Deal (professors on mine when I was a graduate student at Harvard) explain it very well…

“Every organization is political for two reasons: 1) individuals and groups have divergent interests and values, and 2) they live in a world of scarce resources.”

Trying to avoid office politics can hamper your career success ambitions.  This article suggests eight ways that you can play the political game effectively — and not feel as if you have lost your soul in the process.

I like all eight points, but I think that there are a couple of really good ones here.  First, ideas about making your boss look good are right on.  Savvy career never go over their bosses head, they do their best to make their boss look good.

Second, savvy career professionals build strong coalitions by aligning themselves with as many different groups as possible.  “Aligning yourself to many groups will help you when the influence of one group gets diminished or removed” is great career advice.

My career mentor advice here is simple.  Ignore office politics are your own peril.  But play the political game with honor.  Do this and you’ll be on your way to the life and career success you deserve.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a free copy of my bestseller Climbing the Corporate Ladder at  When you do, I’ll give you a free basic membership in my career mentoring site and begin sending you daily motivational quotes.

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