Julian’s Business Tips: Playing Business Politics?

Julian’s Business Tips: Playing Business Politics?

As I write this in mid-August, the Conservative leadership election is awash with negative comments and divisive ‘wedge’ issues. But ‘that’s politics’, isn’t it?

Now I know it’s important to let people understand your position, but in my opinion, the ‘vote for us because the others are worse’ attitude is childish and unprofessional.

To be accused of ‘playing politics’ is usually an insult – although you could learn useful and constructive lessons from these win-or-lose contestants. Do you think we could persuade the leadership result to be announced on a TV game show? “Liz Truss, you are the leader of the Conservative party, Rishi, you walk away with nothing. You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!” (Caveat: other results may be applicable…)

Politics is about getting the voters – or stakeholders if you will – to understand what you might be able to do for them. To do this, you need to clearly explain the benefits of your strategy, and do it persuasively enough that the voter is happy to put the right tick in a box on Polling Day.

In order to use politics well in the workplace, all the relationships you build must be authentic, and the results of your decisions should provide real value to others. In short, act in the way you wish politicians on the telly would act towards you.

The best politicians (in Politics and in life) reach out to their supporters, learn to understand them and build influence where it matters. Then work every day to execute clear strategies to achieve clearly defined goals – that matter to the ‘voters’.

Whether you want to be a President, a Prime Minister or just have a successful business life, my suggestion is to do the same – but be extremely careful if you choose a real politician as your role model!