Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Should Politics be Part of Executive and Leadership Development Programs?

We often hear about executive careers being derailed or people not being executive or leadership “material.” When we take a closer look, we often find that personal and company “politics” is the guilty party.

Based upon our experience, we believe that current and aspiring executives must possess Organizational and Political Savvy to be a successful leader. Impactful Executive Development programs should teach leaders three main skill sets:


  1. How to identify and diminish the impact of overly political individuals.
    Overly Political leaders consistently put their self-interest above the company’s interests and look at business activities with the question, “What can I get away with?” To achieve personal agendas, executives often develop abilities to control and distort information, and mislead the company in a variety of ways.

  2. How to identify and elevate competent leaders who possess integrity and the right core values.
    A critical mass of leaders in positions of power will move the organization closer to a meritocracy of ideas and people. Those individuals are guided by the questions, “What is the right thing to do?” And, “What is in the best interest of the company and its customers?”

  3. How to reduce dysfunctional political behaviors throughout the enterprise.
    Executives know that teams have a finite amount of time and energy. Certain political behaviors waste a team’s time and energy, divert the focus to the wrong things, and lead to decisions based on inaccurate information.
If you are planning for executive development or designing leadership training programs, make sure that you include the often overlooked skill set of organizational and political savvy.

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