Many of us tend to undermine the power ofpolitics at work. We tell ourselves that we simply will not give in to it. But choosing not to abide by these informal rules won’t change how things work. You can say it’s “Not fair” and accuse a colleague or two of being a “Brown-Noser,” (or worse) but the one who’s likely to lose out is you.
Instead of fighting it, stick to these three rules:
Grow up. Just because you don’t like office politics doesn’t mean you’re exempt from them. If your company promotes those who work long hours and on the weekends from home, do you really think you’re going to be the exception?
Identify the “Power Brokers.” Whether they have “earned” their titles or not is irrelevant. It’s crucial that you forge useful relationships with powerful figures even if you feel that they don’t deserve to be where they are.
Fit in or move on. Every company has a culture with spoken and unspoken rules. If your company tolerates those who claim credit for what others have done, you can’t do anything to change that. You have to decide if it’s a deal-breaker. If so, it’s time to move on.
It’s been said that “rules are meant to be broken.” True enough. But from years of coaching employees from the CEO down to recent college graduates, I can tell you that more often than not, trying to break these three rules will only end up breaking you.