Look around. Are the people with real power and influence in your organization the ones who fill particular boxes in the org chart or someone else?
I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I’m a career and leadership coach, the head coach for JobSearchCoachingHQ.com.
There was a great little article on a site called Smartbrief.com called, “The Importance of Political Savvy for Leadership Success,” written by Bonnie Marcus, where she talks about, well, frankly, how to get ahead in organizations. She lays out three key points. I haven’t done a video about this in a long time and I just thought this was a good trigger, to point to, to help you with your advancement.
She points to three things that you need to pay attention to. The first one is, what are the unwritten rules in an organization? After all, all firms have policies they expect you to follow but paying attention to the unwritten rules helps you to understand the reality of what’s the workplace dynamics are. It helps you to define the expectations of behavior and performance.
So, among the unwritten rules are what does it take to get ahead? You may believe it just requires doing a good job. But the reality is very few companies are a true meritocracy, she writes. What beyond performance leads to success? She suggests taking a good look at the people who’ve made it. What relationships they have; how they communicate; what they’ve worked on; how they create visibility and credibility for themselves in a way that’s acceptable to the company culture. What behavior is acceptable, what’s not.
The second thing she points to is who has power and influence? You can’t assume the org chart is accurate? If you look closely at the dynamics in your department and and the company, you may see that there are people with big titles who give away power all the time and don’t really have leadership positions with any influence.
Are their favorites? How do you become a favorite? Are their people who’ve recently lost their influence? Why? Who recently gained influence? How? Who initiates change? Does it start with senior leadership or does it start elsewhere? Who are the change makers? How do they build influence?
The third one is who can be your sponsor? Mentors are great, and they can help guide you to make good decisions and learn new things to gain more expertise in your field but they don’t necessarily take action or advocate on your behalf. What a sponsor does is exactly that– they serve as your spokesperson every step of the way and create opportunities for you to prove your value and make powerful introductions on your behalf.
So a,s you look at the people in power and influence, can you identify a potential sponsor. Seriously, find a sponsor, not just the mentor, a sponsor for you, and look for more ways to become visible with a potential sponsor.
Find out how what they’re passionate about and volunteer to help with their initiatives. Build credibility and visibility over time, and a sponsor relationship develop with trust. It’s a great little article. I hope you found this helpful. If you’re interested in one on one coaching for e, reach out through my website, TheBigGameHunter.us. Go to the site, set up a time for a free discovery call. I’d love to help you.
Hope you have a great day. And by the way, while you’re at my website, I’ve got thousands of posts that you can watch, listen to or read that are going to help you find work more quickly.
Have a great day and take care
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call.
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