One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors – Plato

Managing your network is the second of 3 imperatives for becoming a great leader.  To do so, you need to realize the political factors at work that must be carefully negotiated to have a successful division or organization:

  • Division of labor – disparate groups with different and even conflicting priorities and goals
  • Interdependence – none of these groups can function alone
  • Scarce resources – always a source of competition between groups

Those groups that are successful have managers with influence. They have proactively created a network of relationships with people who can assist them, and those they can assist.  When their group is in need they then have the necessary influence over those who are not strictly under their authority, and even their own boss to get the job done.  This process is always undergirded with integrity and for the good of the organization.

Navigating politics is a challenging process.  But recognizing the political factors and preparing your network in advance is a powerful path to success.  How have you garnered a network of influence at your organization?

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