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.
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