Politicking isn’t just for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Like it or not, every office has its politics – although it needn’t involve bitching and backbiting. Canny leaders use politics to win trust, raise morale and nip challenges in the bud, putting them top of the polls.
1. Have positive motivations.
What do you really want to achieve? Whether it’s to increase productivity or improve cross-department relations, keep it front of mind and stick to your guns. If you change your tune to please others you’re just another snake in the grass.
2. Find the power brokers.
Power isn’t necessarily correlated with status. Find out who the influencers are in your team – those whom everybody listens to. Watch them, understand them and get them onside – they could become your greatest allies.
3. Take control of the rumor mill.
You can’t shut it down, so feed it positively instead. Share critical news early, use your influencers to spread accurate information, encourage people to ask questions and make yourself readily available to discuss the answers.
4. Manage your reputation.
Good PR is half the political battle. Keep your halo gleaming by controlling stress and honoring promises. Be a leader who revitalizes others, not drains them, and watch the votes stack up.
5. Tackle dirty politicians.
Credit thieves, excluders, gossips – politics occurs at all levels of an organization. Deal with your team members’ political problems by tackling dirty tactics, and they’ll defend your campaign no end.
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