- “Power” is the ability to get things done.
- “Politics” is based on the power of relationships that allow you to get things done.
Politics is neutral. Good or bad politics is based on how it is used and for what purpose. Many people only apply the negative attributes of politics to behavior they see as self-serving. Viewing self-serving as negative is certainly justified. Those who use politics well, and for the good of the organization, are just as political, but are often not seen as political. They are viewed as people who are able to get things done with the cooperation of many others. They are often seen as leaders that others want to work with, and for, in the organization.
We have seen good and bad politics impact many decisions. Larger organizations, and those organization under stress, often see the most impact from politics (good and bad). One of the most noticeable is seeing who gets promoted and who does not get the key job. Even in Plato’s time … refusing to participate in politics had consequences. You have the choice to ignore politics and suffer the consequences … just don’t blame others for being wiser.