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If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.Goethe

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Sharpen your sense of politics

Sharpen your sense of politics

We often consider only the downsides of the corporate political game. In reality, it constitutes a dimension that any business leader should master to increase his/her influence and ability to take action. How can you develop this essential leadership lever?

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Political sense is an often-undervalued quality. Ill understood and poorly considered, it is rarely taught in schools. It is rarely explicitly acknowledged as a strength, or promoted as a competence to develop in business.

The term politicsitself is loaded with negative connotations. It is generally used to designate its downsides: intrigue, manipulation, lack of integrity. To such a point that politics has become a taboo topic in most organizations. Even if forced to play some, we don’t however own up to it.

Yet, politics is an integral part of any human collectivity: Aristotle already noted: “Man is by nature a political animal.” Businesses do not escape this rule. Many leaders acknowledge that, to reach their objectives, they had to secure the support of others. And these objectives are typically perfectly legitimate: making their point of view heard, convincing, mobilizing in favor of change, creating or seizing opportunities, etc. More generally, to accomplish his/her mission, the manager or the leader must manage, at some point or another, to influence key people in his/her entourage.

We could even debate that politics has never been as important as it is in today’s business context. Faced with the need to lead permanent transformations, leaders must be able to mobilize on projects despite the surrounding uncertainty. To achieve this, they must know how to address the right persons, at the right time, with the right arguments.

Henceforth, we expect any business leader to display both political and ethical sense. In concrete terms, what aptitudes does this entail? You must understand with finesse not only the formal rules of the organization, but also its informal ones; identify the powers at play and imagine how to integrate them in your strategy; sharpen your interpersonal skills… As can be seen, this relies on a broad range of behavioral competences. This is why it generally takes time, a good capacity to learn from one’s mistakes and the support of experienced mentors to become politically agile. How can you undertake such an approach?


In this synopsis:
– Combine ethics and political sense
– Extend your political influence
– Dare to ask for favors

Synopsis n.287a


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