Office Politics and the People Equation

by  Mike Henry  |  Leadership Development

Yesterday, Jennifer V. Miller posted a great article on networking, relationships and office politics.  The article is titled Networking Inside the Company Walls and it’s posted on Jennifer’s blog, The People Equation. It’s the first post in a series initiated by Jane Perdue that will also include Susan Mazza and myself. The idea is that many leadership skills, such as networking and building relationships, can contribute to office politics when applied with wrong motives.

Jennifer makes several great points about the need for networking across functional areas.  The key is to sincerely be working for win-win. If you’re not sure, be careful or get someone you trust to give check your motives. But if you can be sure that you’re committed to the other person’s (and the organization’s) success, then reach out. Everyone likes to be appreciated.  Most like to be helped once they feel they can trust you.  In fact, that’s what my post next week will be about; being sincere and authentic.

One other thing that Jennifer alludes to in the post: it is your responsibility. The days where you can “just do your job” are coming to an end. You need to know and be known in the organization in order to create value. “Just doing your job” is an invitation to layoffs, unless you have a irreplaceable skill. (Are there any irreplaceable skills any more?)  So the sooner you learn this and get out of your cube, the better off you, your peers, and your organization will be.

So, by all means venture on over to The People Equation and check out the post.  Also, please leave Jennifer a comment and tell her you came from the Lead Change Group.  Then stop back here on January 26 for my installment.

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About The Author

Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Jennifer  |  20 Jan 2010  |  Reply


Thanks so very much for amplifying the thoughts on my post. Excellent points, all of them.

To the your point of “it’s up to you” and personal responsibility, I discovered this post by GL Hoffman (on Twitter @GLHoffman) called “He Ain’t Comin’, Folks.” I’m still reflecting upon and chuckling at his assessment of the human tendency to wait for our ships to come in. See it here: http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds/2010/01/18/he-aint-coming-folks/

Thanks to my friend @LisaRosendahl whose tweet led me there.

Jane Perdue  |  23 Jan 2010  |  Reply

Mike – great add-on posts to Jennifer’s insights into “inside the walls” networking. Your admonition to do more than “just my job” is perfect advice in today’s ever-evolving workplace. Standing still with one’s current hard and soft skill sets is an excellent invitation to a pink slip.

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