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How political is your organization?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How political is your organization?

  • Extremely — We’re full-time politicians here: 17.52%
  • Very — We spend more time on politics than we do on work: 30.62%
  • Somewhat — Politics are important but we aren’t overly political: 34.34%
  • Not very — We face very few political situations: 12.74%
  • Not at all — We never play politics: 4.78%

Leave the politics to Washington. Almost half of you deal with a great deal of politics on a regular basis. Think of all the time, energy and effort you and your teams expend jockeying for positions and resources. Now think about the fact that you’re competing with people who work in the same organization. Wouldn’t all that time and energy be better spent competing with your actual competitors? As a leader, I encourage you to avoid playing politics and change the culture in your organization so you can focus instead on beating your competition. When you see others playing politics, step up and lead — call them on it and get the focus back on making your company better. You only need to look at the dysfunction in Washington to understand how negatively politics can affect your organization.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”