Political Savvy

Politics is not for sissies.  And you can’t pretend they don’t exist especially when the stakes are high.

An interesting situation emerges while working with a client who is aiming for a new position.  We are brainstorming strategy and tactics required to get things done even while his efforts are undermined and blocked by peers who are competing with him for the position.  It is a conundrum because everything coaches learn about doing the right thing, integrity and ethics are challenged in a situation where everyone else is behaving badly.  The level of bad behavior at senior levels is actually quite astonishing.  So, how to win while keeping self respect?  Hmmmm.

One idea, that we’ve talked about:  To win a new position simply start doing the job and eventually you’ll be seen as having the role – the position and salary hike are an afterthought.  The client has given this advice to young up and comers in the past.  How can this apply?  In his new post he would need to have a strong vision for the organization and every agenda he drives would need to align with that vision.  The question becomes: how can you do that now?  What would be different about the way you are approaching everything you do?

The strategy jumps into focus and all tactics fall into place – a breath of fresh clarity.  Now he doesn’t have to jump into the scrappy little street fights his competitors are engaging in.  He can keep his head above the fray and stay focused on the bigger picture.

Coaches don’t have the right answers – but they can remind the client of the timeless truths that work everytime.

3 thoughts on “Political Savvy

  1. Madeleine just read the “Political Savvy” comment that you posted over a month ago …..and chuckling how aligned your comments are with a coaching conversation that I had with a client faced with the exact senario yesterday ….I’ve used this approach / combined with your Relationship Mapping tool a number of times with folks at all levels within an organization
    ….my experience is that it’s effective and truly turns the focus on what they can and will do

    Thanks for making the time to share your wisdom 😉

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