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 – Political Will

Not surprisingly, I was a skilled political player. However, at the end of my career, politics lost my interest. I scaled back on networking, cared little about how I was coming across, and exercised little social influence. It was a…

Fresh Look – acting politically while seeming apolitical

Effective office politicians know that their actions must appear legitimate. This means that they have to be careful to satisfy three criteria.[1] First, political actors must appear to promote collective (i.e., organizational) versus personal interests. Second, they must abide by…

Sizing up others requires brains, not guts.

Common sense tells us that gut-feel is important in office politics. If someone “seems” politically dangerous or potentially supportive, some of us act on these intuitions. A new study indicates that when it comes to accurately understanding others, we should…

Becoming an informal leader and leveraging that role

…depends on your political will and skill.[1] You won’t become an informal leader if you don’t have both political will (a need for power) and political skill. Lacking either or both makes it difficult to be informally influential within your…

Even if your relationship with your followers is weak, political skill gets better results.

Management scholars differentiate between leader-follower relationships with a strong social foundation (they care about each other) with relationships based on authority and economics (subordinates work for their manager). Obviously, the former is more politically beneficial than the latter, but not…

Politically skilled team members are team players

A new study indicates that politically skilled team members are better team members than those who lack political skill.[1] Importantly, they are more able to judge when the team can be trusted. So, when you put a team together pack…

Politically skilled leaders need behavioral integrity

Although politically skilled individuals are considered good leaders,[1] they are not always trusted. In this situation, behavioral integrity is critical. Defined as the perceived alignment between a leader’s words and deeds, it also refers to the extent to which promises…

Political salespeople–some surprises

When we think of sales professionals being political, we usually think of the relationships they have with their customers and clients. Clearly, salespeople benefit from understanding the office politics that encircles their industrial customers, and selling requires a lot of…

Politically skilled managers have a blind spot

Most of us assume that politically skilled managers are so cunning that that they can spot and deal effectively with subordinates who are manipulative and self-serving. However, it may be that politically skilled managers are so intent on understanding and…