Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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30 • November 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S such events are seen jockeying for more power and a more favorable position. Unfortunately, the carnage left in the wake of the politics can be irreversibly devastating. The biggest mistake politicos make is believing the business world revolves around them and their own interests. They form alliances. They strike deals. They propose horse trades like, "I'll sup- port you on this issue, if you back me on this one." Workplace politics are our own personal "reality television" show. And, isn't it interesting when some- one is "voted off" the company island? Sometimes people are voted out, but don't leave, and they become organiza- tional outcasts. Workplace politics are complex and you are unlikely going to find a step- by-step primer on how to play and win. If you decide to become active in office politics, you might start by mapping out the terrain and players. Look at who holds the most power and the sources of said power. But, regardless of the degree at which you decide to play, begin with the prem- ise that most political ploys are not usu- ally meant to be personal attacks. It could be that others just don't know you well enough or know where you stand on a particular issue. We know business can be cutthroat and dirty, but yet there is an underlying belief that the truth will eventually surface and triumph. Do's and Don'ts of Office Politics Here is a list of ways to get ahead in the work world, as well as some faux pas to avoid along the way. D O form a network of confidants inside and outside of work. Join orga- nizations and be active in groups that make you visible. DON'T trust the first person who is friendly or latch onto a mentor too quickly. Ask a lot of ques- tions to plenty of people and gauge their responses and the organization's impres- sion of them. DO take on projects that help you get noticed; DON'T always offer to do the grunt work. D O get along well with your col- leagues and bosses; D O N ' T expect your job to fulfill your social needs and DON'T bring your personal problems— squabbles with the spouse, kids in trou- ble—into the workplace. DO mind your own business—unless you witness unethical or illegal behavior. DON'T gossip or complain about the job or the company—unless it is construc- tive and directed at people who can do something about it. DON'T waste your complaints on co-workers. DO align yourself and your vocation with the corporate objectives. If you are the business owner, be sure your actions and intentions—which cannot be hidden from the watchful eye of your employ- ees—are consistent with the vision and mission of the business. DON'T act so standoffish that others are afraid to speak to you. Want a Second Opinion? There have been a half dozen books written on the subject of workplace poli- tics over the years. Ronna Lichtenberg has written a quick-read book entitled Work Would Be Great If It Weren't For the People: Making Office Politics Work for You. The book mostly benefits those who are still on their way up the ladder or those who are struggling to adapt with the cultural changes in the workplace and forgot some of the rules along the way. Interestingly enough, there is a book on the topic from the "For Dummies" series as well. Finally, Jeffrey Fox, author of How to Become CEO: The Rules for Rising to the Top of Any Organization, has written a national bestseller that offers an unconventional look at the traits of CEO aspirants and some brutally honest advice in the form of 75 "rules." Let's face it. We all want to advance our life's work. The trick is to ascend to the top without appearing to do so or climbing over others to do so. Taking the time to assess your power bases and con- duct a self-examination of your modus operandi could be time well invested. Good luck. SDG Make it Your Business C O N T I N U E D

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