13 November 2008

call it by any other name but it is still called office politics

While the national politics and economics has been on the charts and has kept every blogger and every news channel buzzing i am instigated to write more local more near ... about office politics.

With so many institutions being "bought " and "sold " and many lay offs and firings that has been happening over the last 22 months and will continue to happen in the current quarter and the next , it is the people who have been able to win at office politics that has managed to stay in even at its breaking point.
Everybody knows that nobody is indispensable.You might be yesterdays great salesman but if you cannot deliver the goods today and more importantly if you are not the boss's right hand man, you will be asked to leave the office saying that there are budget cuts. Even when you are the best and the brightest you are logged out.
If you do not suck it up and generate revenue, you are shown the door. Are you hesitant to keep up with the technology in your field, the boss will consider you a liability.
If you are not adding value to your boss's promotion and the bonus or these days if you cannot do 3 peoples job you are shown the door.
At presentations to major clients, the person who is close to the boss's head (heart and.. ) is asked to present if you are leading the poll in office politics.

When your opinion is counted even if you are lower at the corporate rung, you are leading the polls at office politics.
when you are invited to lunch with the departmental head and higher ups evenwhen you 'really' should not be there you are ahead at office politics.
when you are asked to chair the meeting even when you should not be doing it you have a lead at the political game at the office.
Now the ultimate clincher - say if they are two identical departments during a buy in, the guy who heads the department and is the beer buddy to the final decision maker he will be asked to continue to lead and the other guy will be asked to pack up along with his workforce.

it is some kind of power that we all want to have. Call it by any other name - influence, PR, rapport, recognition, isn't that what we ultimately need to succeed at office politics. play the game and you will reign.

dear readers, take it away.


odzer said...

I hated office politics, so I quit and started working on my own. Now I miss the regular pay cheques. I miss the gossip and I miss sometimes not having the chance to step outside the house. However what I do not miss certainly is the office politics. Good Riddance I would say!

Anrosh said...

that is what is happening to our many friends..everybody trying to open shop to get rid of this.

Vinod_Sharma said...

Politics doesn't leave us, no matter where we are...isn't it the same in many families?

But, yes I agree that office politics is not healthy - for the organisation, in most cases...can be quite frustrating for those who want to plough the straight path.

corine @ hidden in france said...

I guess getting along with others is a sign of intelligence. Look at Obama. What one person calls diplomacy, another calls being weak.

great post, as always.

Georg said...

Bonjour Anrosh,

There is a certain number of people who are not very much interested to make it to the top.

In that case, it is frequently sufficient to do your job better then all the fellows next to you and abstain from office politics.

I did this during my professional life and made it through all purges and lay offs.


kochuthresiamma p .j said...

great post-very revealing.
dont think office politics operate that way in this part of the world - not that office is free from politics.
besides, the employee generally dont skate on such thin ice.

Anrosh said...

hello vinod, on linked a social career networking website somebody wrote that he is interested in "office politics". hence wrote this post.

hi corine,..isn't that part of emotional intelligence too.

hi georg, how are you? if that is how it works in france and germany, i am moving there.

kochuthresiamma p.j, are you saying that everything is fair at wear you work? and if that is ..which i seldom feel or hear it is wonderful. but don't people sweat it out trying to do more than work.. and which part of the world are we talking ?

Anrosh said...

kochuthresiamma, p.j - i reread what i wrote and here is what the corrected version looks like -

are you saying that everything is fair at your work place?
and if that is, it is wonderful because it is seldom that we hear that work place is fair.
don't people sweat it out trying to do more than work..?
and which part of the world are we talking ?

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

heavens no! nothing is fair here(Kerala)
but reg lay off, sacking- govt interferes in everything.
and kerala with its penchant for unionisisng labour -- you know the rest.
but within these limitation there's terrible politics -but of a different kind. certainly not better.
of course, i cannot talk with much authority, cos i worked in a college aided by the govt. where lay off, sacking are unheard of-this applies to a lot of places which are covered by service rules. this explains the inefiiciency and redtapism in the offices in our part of the world.

Mavin said...

You put three people together and you have politics.

Especially, in the backdrop of massive job cuts that you have mentioned, this seems to be more a survival strategy than a inborn, hard wired urge to indulge in "office politics"

After all, each one is on their own and swim they must before they drown out of exhaustion or somebody pulls them dowm.

In normal circumstances, when existence is pretty un-threatened, life is a bit calmer but you still have office politics - more to wrangle that promotion, pay rise or higher bonus or still better get a plum assignment or posting.

A part of life - guess you plsy it as a game or still better adopt the approach that Georg has suggested.

Anrosh said...

hello kochuthresiamma - service rules - here it is a different name called tenure- but there is much to work hard even when one gets it.

hello mavin - is it three or two ? people together and you have politics. Bear sterns was famous for its nail biting backstabbing politics - and now it is dead ! there is no sign of it anywhere.

nadia said...

I have seen this many times over happen.

prerna said...

I agree with @ mavin's view-/this seems to be more a survival strategy/.Survival of the fittest is the ultimate truth.Like it or not, one has to face and survive politics.When 1 of the 2 people of the same capabilities has to be fired, the person with better political skills stays.

Anrosh said...

Hello Nadia, i am glad you said it.

Hello Prerna, survival strategy is another word, but only politics survive.

vaneet kundra said...

Seeing the meltdown all over the world, it could be a blessing in disguise. People who wanted to become entreprenuers have the chance to start something on their own. There will low risk, trying for it, as otherwise too, you have the chance of getting a pink slip, anytime.

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