Two Can Play That Game

Life is a game.  No matter how you analyze or dissect it, it’s all a game.  Let’s take dating for instance. We say we don’t like playing games, but we play them don’t we? Don’t think so? I beg to differ. Just think about dating or just going out on the weekend. Ladies, do you not get dressed up in your most form-fitting dress, put every strand of hair in place and flawless makeup? Guys, do you not put on your best smelling cologne, maybe do a few extra push ups, and shave right before we walk out the door. Again, it’s all a game to get what you want out of life.

One of the games we find ourselves on the extreme cooperative or non cooperative end of is when it comes to the work place. Do you consider yourself to be an over political or under political person when it comes to the workplace? Even if you possess qualities of both, chances are you lean more heavily to one side. I recently finished reading a really informative book on workplace behavior and scenarios called Survival of the Savvy: High Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success (sheesh….say that 10 times fast) by Rick Brandon, Ph.D., and Marty Seldman, Ph.D.

I received the book as part of a course I took for work called, “Organizational Savvy”. The class and the book both discuss how we all have a “political buzz” about us, whether we realize it or not. Are you known as the over bearing project leader or maybe the passive leader who needs just a push of aggressiveness to really succeed? Brandon and Seldman define “organizational politics” as  informal, unofficial, and sometimes behind-the scenes efforts to sell ideas, influence an organization, increase power, or achieve other targeted objectives. The purpose of the book is not to take you completely out of your comfort zone. It’s more so to help you realize that if you do certain things as an over or under political person, you will more than likely get specific results. The best thing is to take pieces of each side to be stern, balanced, and progressive in your career.

So you may be thinking, “I don’t care about my job,” or “This doesn’t apply to me”. Not so fast….it does. Whether you’re in the corporate world or not, you have to deal with people in everyday life. As long as we have to deal with people, there will always be politics.So why not incorporate these values for what we get paid to do? It just makes sense. Make sure to check out Survival of the Savvy…You can find it online at and at your local bookstore. Trust me, you’ll be glad that you read it.

It’s game time, so how are you going to play? Share your testimony of times you had to deal with organizational politics and how you handled it?

3 thoughts on “Two Can Play That Game

  1. I will definitely have to check this book out so that I can practice these tips on my current job. The biggest “weakness” that my supervisor gives me in feedback is that I am not “proactive enough.” I’m thinking if you’re telling everyone on our team to be proactive leaders; how would I stand out from the rest? Anyway, I’m currently looking for another job so I will look into this book to help me through corporate jobs.

  2. There are definitely some great tips in the book and even stuff you can use in everyday left, not just at work. Yeah that’s a hard situation with your supervisor telling you to be more proactive and everyone else is expected to do the same. I’ll be parying for you on the job search that you find what suits you best!

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