Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In looking back to when I was an undergraduate student, one of the main reasons why I wanted to go into a career in Industrial Psychology was that I would be considered an ‘outsider’ in the whole corporate game; that I would be impervious to any petty nuisances that occur in organizations whether as an internal or external consultant.

Fast forwarding six year to the present, my lens at how I look at my career and the environment in which I will be working in has dramatically shifted. I look back at my naïve undergrad mentality and see that maybe it is I that needs to change to my environment. Having this epiphany has helped me embrace different environments and different political agendas that are naturally evolving essences in organizations because as a free market society, everyone has their own (or their group’s) interest as their main focus for making certain decisions and actions.

It is easy for someone to stick their head in the sand and say: “Well, I’m too good/too ethical to play politics at my company” or “Politics has never and will never be a problem at my company”. By taking polarizing stances like these, you are proactively taking yourself out of your own company culture and restricting advancement opportunities because you are denying the actual existence that is your company. As the old saying goes, “Failure follows the path of least resistance”.

In order to be an effective executive, the need to be politically aware is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s business environment. It is not only recognizing political issues within your organization, it is how you react to political situations. Many executive careers have been derailed due to the mishandling of political issues within their organization (see: Carly Fiorina at HP).


Blogger Jill Frack said...

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1:34 PM  
Blogger Jill Frack said...

I think you identified something that each of us would like to be one day and that is an executive. There are a lot of prestige that comes from that title, but yet there is a lot of political games that are being played at the higher level.

I believe that the higher the position the more people who are going to attack from a political view. You mentioned Carly from HP, but yet I still view her as a successful woman, because of what she was able to accomplish in order to become a CEO. Looking back in History there has always been flaws in each person, but yet great things have been done through imperfect people. Although each person chose to handle their political situations in different ways that is where creativity comes into play. Some people choose to be ethical while other people choose to play dirty politics.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked when you write about being "too ethical" to play the game and about the denial that we seem to wrap ourselves in. I think being righteous in life is the obstacle to growth. In order to move forward, personally and professionally, we need to be aware of what is going on around us, stick to our core values and create the possibility for self learning and reflection.

1:22 PM  

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