Politics are inevitable in any organization. Ignore them at your own peril. You don’t have to play politics, but as a manager or leader, be intentional about how you respond to organizational politics because your responses shape your organization’s culture – and your character as a leader.

Anytime more than two people work together, politics come into play. In its most benign form, “politics” is simply the process by which decisions are made about how a group of people will conduct itself and be governed. In practical terms and common usage, however, “politics” almost always becomes a question of power, who can win it and what they can achieve by wielding it.

In this week’s podcast, we help managers think through these questions related to organizational politics:

  • If you can’t ignore politics and you don’t want to play politics, what is your alternative?
  • What are 7 specific things you can do to rise above the politics in your organization? (One of these – Make Friends – might surprise you.)
  • Why might rising above the politics be the very best way to achieve and grow in your company?
  • If you have done all you can to rise above the politics in your organization and find that you simply cannot succeed, what should you do then?
  • What’s the relationship between politics and integrity or moral authority?

We hope you’ll try out some of the suggestion in this week’s podcast or read about them yourself in Managing to Make a Difference. We love hearing your questions and responses. Please feel free to share them in a comment or by connecting with one of us on LinkedIn (see links to our profiles below).

Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!

This post highlights Chapter 59 of Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Click here to see posts on previous chapters. Next up Positive Conversational Behavior. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

 + Larry Sternberg, J.D. and Kim Turnage, Ph.D.


This post highlights Chapter 58 of Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Click here to see posts on previous chapters. Next up: Rise Above the Politics. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

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