Fresh Look – Gender politics

Here an interesting item from the time capsule. When I was 23 and just finishing my masters degree, I applied for several teaching jobs. The idea I had was that if I could find a job close to a major…

Fresh Look – the wisdom of back-up plans

You are going into politically charged meeting and have a game plan for how it will unfold. The meeting takes an unexpected turn, but you have a back-up plan and shift to it. Sounds wise, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. On…

Fresh Look – How much power does your job provide?

Office politics is about power, and we all have two sources: our job, and the sources like our networks, expertise, and inside information that we personally cultivate. Ever wonder how much power your job gives you? Take the following test…

Fresh Look – If you’re politically skilled, delegate

A new study shows that politically skilled leaders tend to delegate decisions more than their unskilled colleagues.[1] Does this make sense? Indeed it does. Think about it, politically skilled leaders are active networkers, and by virtue of these connections, they…

Fresh Look – The political problem of being an introverted male

Taking an active role in office politics is psychologically taxing, and you can’t do it without social support.[1] Here I’m talking about being the beneficiary of advice, empathy, encouragement and help with practical tasks.[2] Without support, you will be unable…

Fresh Look – It doesn’t require paranoia to have enemies

Enemies are people who hate us personally and want to undermine our efforts.[1] They are typically seen as sources of threats, and this perception creates intense negative emotions[2] Much has been made of the personalities of those who are likely…

Fresh Look – Is your mentor doing all s/he can for you?

Few of us consider the range of services a mentor might potentially provide us. Some mentors are merely advice givers; they tell us what to do but don’t do other things great mentors do. Great mentors not only provide task…

Fresh Look – The paradox of authoritarian leadership success

Those of us interested in office politics explain the success of strict, detail-oriented, centralized leaders by contending that they must have enormous political power. Unless they rose to their positions through luck, we find ourselves admiring the political moves these…

Fresh Look – Mentoring young people

I mentored about a dozen people in my career, and my wife has actually mentored more. Each protégé is unique, but both of us have noticed that young professionals respond differently to mentoring than older ones. When I came across…

Fresh Look – Be a cheerleader for your coworkers

Your coworkers and colleagues are important political resources. Cultivating them is key, but take the time necessary to do so. After all, co-worker are competitors, or at least that is the mindset that most employees have.[1] We are constantly given…