"Some of our best technical talent isn't making it to
leadership levels. How do we keep them on track?"
-- VP Talent Mgmt.
Many organizations have high potential programs.
Those with superior technical skills are put on the fast track
to upper management. Even if they manage others well, their
units do not seem to be making the impact desired.
Often, great technical people are not able
to create the informal networks essential to get their units
work the attention it deserves. Too many fall off the fast
track for their inability to learn the informal rules of the
road neccessary to be maximally effective.
Those who learn to use the Political Savvy
Advantage avoid this premature stalling of their careers and
continue on to make greater and greater contributions.
"Even if politics doesn't officially exist, we still
need ways to prepare our leaders for how to best deal with
it. How do we intelligently make it a part of our Corporate
University Leadership Programs?"--Chief
Because of the ingrained negative stereotypes
associated with politics, it is often a very delicate issue
to address directly in officially sanctioned leadership programs.
Our research findings are the
result of seeking the intersection of leadership and organizational
One of the most promising findings is is that
Political Savvy (sometimes referred to as Organizational Savvy)
is the hidden side of leadership. Leaders with Political Savvy
were seen as the most effective of all leadership types.
Political Savvy stands for the
ethical use of informal influence. Thus Political
Savvy leaders were effective in both the formal and informal
organization. They were able to influence and lead upward
and outward in the business as well as the more traditional
downward influence based upon their position power.
The Politcal Savvy Advantage provides Chief learning Officiers
with acceptable ways to bring organizational politics out
of the backroom and help leaders address the issue head on
so that they can integrate it into their overall leadership
'Sharks' and Shark repellent.
"Increased competition, change, and scarcer rewards seemed
to have created more overly ambitious, self serving individuals
in our organization. They hurt others, are dysfunctional,
and are bad for business. Is their any way to control them?"
-- HR Specialist
These individuals represent the 'sharks' or
Darth Vaders of the organization who have been seduced by
the 'dark side'. They have always existed and often use Machiavellien
book, The Prince, as their guide. They are slick
and difficult to stop completely.
Their are however, some things that organizations
can do. They are ways to spot them early, limit their damage,
and give others a type of 'shark' repellent.
The Political Savvy Advantage works with organizations
to set up such processes in the organization. To do so if
One of the clear findings from our work and
ongoing research is that if people believe it is the sharks
who get promoted, then much of the other programs set uo to
generate greater commitment don't work.
"School did not prepare our people for dealing with the
political realities of organizational life. Is their any kind
of early training program we can add so that they don't get
blindsided?"- Corporate Trainer
It is a sad fact that less than 5% of any
type of undergraduate graduate, or even MBA programs, do anything
to address organizational politics directly.
It shows how deeply the fear of abuse of power
runs in our culture. As a result, people graduate naively
believing they are prepared to succeed in the world of work.
Our findings clearly indicate that negative
stereotypes can be overturned. Then 'positive politics'; which
actually reinforces the rationality of corporate decision
making can be understood and taken to heart by the vast majority
of new employees.
The Politcal Savvy Advantage is particularly
useful at getting new employees started off on the proper
and ethical track for corporate and
Women and Minorities
"In a white male dominated business it is particularly
hard for women and minorities to catch on to the politics
of the place. Is there any thing we can do to provide a more
level playing field?'-- EEO Officer
There is much evidence to support that any group that is not part of the dominate culture has a tougher road when it comes to effectively dealing with organizational politics.
One of the somewhat contrary findings from our work is that women actually tend to have more natural political savvy skills than most of the men.
While men tend to compete and one up each other, women tend to collaborate and seek connection. These are key attributes of those identified by their colleagues, male or female, of being politically savvy.
The other, more unfortunate, finding is that while possessing more natural political savvy ability, women tend not to use it and instead tend to act more like the men.
The Political Savvy Advantage is particularly valuable in helping women get back in touch with their political savvy abilities to better leverage the talent they bring to business.
Minorities can also gain by better understanding the basic human
nature dynamics at play that cross racial lines to create a more level playing field.
Read an Article from a Certified Political Savvy Trainer on Women and Politics ...