Leadership as a solution to office politics

by Ashvini on October 16, 2013 · 4 comments

in Leadership,My Personal Thoughts

Office politics is a reality, whether we like it or not.  Unfortunately, if the politics take precedence over competitiveness, the organization’s ability to respond to the change in business climate diminishes. The silos in the organization ensure that every department is tied up by its own reason of existence than the actual reason, of the organization. The employees form group and are aligned to one person or  the other which is detrimental to growth of organization.

A leader may be trapped by two conflicting views/ideologies

Leadership is essentially about doing things with consent of every interested party. However whatis a leader to do when he or she is faced with two hostile department or even two hostile vendors ( which can happen in a very small organization too) . If politics is stopping an organization from achieving its objective, it is the failure of leadership.

For example , there may be a scenario where marketing department  wants to do is to spend money on advertising while finance wants to keep a strong control on the cash flow. Or in another scenario ( I have personally experienced it ) , an IT group advocates a complete different strategy than the other group because of competing interests. Such  politics and competitiveness can actually impede decision making.

The task for the leader is clear enough then.

He or she needs to do what makes sense for meeting the objectives of company. He needs to make it clear that the politics need to stop and the teams need to work together for success.

Sometimes influence group hijack agenda and if they are more vocal can force their agenda on other. A leader needs to know when this is happening. A signal for that is when promising employees turns demotivated in a short span of time. A leader  needs to know about it  and  needs to take corrective actions.

Organizations  that go downhill often do so because of the unresolved political issues. A strong leadership that is driven by objectives of organization is a competent solution.

“Image courtesy of [bplanet] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net“.

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{ 4 comments }

Adrienne October 20, 2013 at 4:27 am

It’s a really great feeling Ashvini when I can say I don’t have to deal with this stuff anymore. You’re right, office politics are everywhere and they are not fun to be a part of. It’s not fair, it’s not right but we’ve all been objected to it.

My particular managerial role never really had to deal with this though. Oh I saw it but I wasn’t involved in the mess for the most part. You are spot on about the leader really needing to be aware that this is happening and taking the right action steps hopefully to either correct this or bring it to a quick resolution.

~Adrienne

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Thanks for your thoughts. I have not been long in managerial roles but I could easily find out what they were not doing right.
Politics is a reality and sometimes it does get nasty. I have seen projects suffer because of it.
You are lucky to not have witnessed it to that extent ;). It is not a good feeling .

Thanks for your comment :)

Umashree Pancholy October 16, 2013 at 11:33 pm

this is such an awesome article

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Thanks Uma :). I am glad you liked it

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