|The terms ‘political capital’ and ‘corporate politics’ seems to bring fear and loathing to many.
How many of us have heard our colleagues say ‘I just want to get on with the job and don’t want to be part of any of the politics’?
Unfortunately, past experiences of those building power bases or kingdoms with little regard to others have left many of us with a negative connotation of the theory and practice.
Let’s break it down.
Political Capital is the invisible currency that politicians or leaders utilise or ‘spend’. Built up of trust, goodwill and influence, individuals can accumulate through experience, seniority and past leadership actions.
Office Politics are activities, attitudes or behaviours that are used to get or keep power or an advantage within a business or company.
Whilst the definitions make it all sound a little unscrupulous, avoiding ‘politics’ means that you, your team, and your cause will bear the brunt of those with a competing agenda.
None of us can escape politics as it’s happening on a daily basis all around us. We even learn it early as a child.
Ever answered your child with a “Go ask your (insert mother or father)”? This is the divide and conquer method, which children learn early to get what they want.
The first step in the office politics process is to determine your level of political capital.
According to Kellogg professor William Ocasio, there are seven distinct forms of political capital which you can use when navigating corporate politics.