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Navigating Company Politics

Hi everybody, I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a video series where I answer questions from people like you. Here we go!

Are there times when you have to play political games just to effectively navigate a company’s culture? I don’t do politics well. I feel like I’m always about to step on a political landmine because I just hate politics so much.

Ab-so-lutely, YES. And I hate it! I serve on boards, I work inside of some companies doing coaching and consultation, and there are certain things I have to do to navigate the political waters of that company. It is a fact. Families are the same way.

However, do not compromise your values. So, for instance, I work with an organization where politics are rampant. I have constantly got people in both ears telling me how they think things should go, because I have some influence in this organization. So, I just manage my authenticity in the context of the political environment that I’m in. So I don’t compromise my values of excellence or authenticity or compassion. I just work inside the political framework to get things done. The minute you want to try to work against it you’re probably going to get consumed or kicked out. If it’s too much you should probably look for another organization.

BThe organization that I’m talking about that I’m involved in, I can manage it. There was one where I could not, several years ago, I got out, I bailed. I couldn’t do it anymore.

So I hope that’s helpful, it’s a difficult thing, but you cannot change the politics of an organization unless you own it, or unless you’re the CEO. The new CEO of Microsoft completely changed the politics and the way the culture worked, it works completely different. But if you are in an organization where the politics are oppressive, you can’t do anything but work within the system.

I’m Mike Staver, hope that’s helpful. Until next week, this is Mondays with Mike.

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