Become a politically savvy leader
- Identify what a politically savvy person looks like
Think of a leader in your organization who is politically savvy. Study the way they read situations, build networks, and leverage their knowledge in the organization. Then write down some concrete examples of how they use their savvy to add value to others. How do they practice self-awareness with their thoughts and actions? How do they use political savvy to ensure that everyone wins in the workplace?
- Identify the perspective of colleagues in senior positions
Study your senior colleagues and ask yourself: What are their pain points? What are their pressure points? What are their needs and agendas? What are their goals and values? Over the next 30 days, show your senior colleagues that you can help them meet their needs even as you lead your team. This will paint you as someone who can manage the organization’s politics.
- Draw your network map
Write your name in the center of a blank sheet of paper and draw a circle around it. Surround your name with the names of colleagues you have a strong relationship with and draw circles around each name. Connect your name to theirs using a line. Then write down the names of people you have a weaker connection to, encircle their names, and connect their names to yours. The weaker your relationship, the farther out the name should be. Now examine your network to gauge whether it’s open, diverse, and deep. If it’s not, what can you do to make it so? If it is, then what can you do to keep it that way? Consider asking some of your close connections to help you strengthen your relationships with those who are more distant.
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