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Chapter 33. Politics Can Be Fun

For many trained technical experts, there is only one kind of “power”— technical expertise. And for these people, organizational politics is a waste of time. But technical supervisors who survive and thrive in technology-driven organizations are successful at politics. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Organizational politics are unavoidable.

    Getting what you need, and giving others what they need, requires skill at politics, negotiation and influence.

  2. Don’t underestimate the effective behavior of management or the organization.

    Avoid association with those who suffer from acute melancholia and conduct formal organizational cynic clinics. Model and support positive behavior.

  3. Build your political network.

    Develop senior management champions, or referent power, who can keep an eye out for you and help you manage your job and advance your career.

  4. Keep your integrity.

    Your increasingly higher technical supervisory positions will cause you to have contact with increasingly higher organizational stakeholders. Questions of “ethics,” “fairness” and “legality” may come up. Your integrity as an individual is critical to your success.


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