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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 59Rise Above the Politics

If you have two or more human beings in a community, you are going to have politics. In your organization's culture, politics may play a greater or lesser role. But it is almost inevitable that, because of politics, some people will be favored with power, influence, and rewards they did not earn. As many astute thinkers have pointed out, organization politics are a fact of life. So don't bemoan reality. Accept it and deal with it.

Based on that reality, you can make one of two choices. You can make the decision to gain power by devoting your time to politics. If that is your choice, we refer you to The Prince by Niccol?? Machiavelli. Alternatively, you can also make the decision to rise above the politics and devote your time to creating value. If you choose the latter, doing the following seven things will ensure that you rise above the politics.

  1. Deliver Exemplary Performance First and foremost deliver results that exceed expectations. If nepotism, sycophantism, or other forms of favoritism mean more than outstanding performance in your organization, the organization is doomed to mediocrity or worse. The culture will be dysfunctional. Top performers will disengage.
  2. Be Positive Undesirable, unpleasant things happen in every organization and in everyone's life. You can make decisions about how you are going to encounter what life brings. Focus on what is good in your situation. Be optimistic about the future. Make a meaningful difference for ...

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