I, The Absolute

Archive for September 26th, 2005

Neither an Asok; nor a Wally

Posted by itheabsolute on September 26, 2005

People who follow Scott Adam’s Dilbert Comics would be aware of the characters of Wally and Asok. Asok is an IIT grad. He is the most overworked. Wally is the most politicking animal at office. Wally gets away without doing any work. In addition, he creates all kinds of trouble for the boss. It does not pay to be an Asok. Nor does it pay to be like Wally A good combination of smartness, intelligence, hard work and politicking is the only way to survive and grow in most kinds of organization. Politicking does not mean things bad (Wally, in fact, is an extreme form). It does not have to necessarily mean back stabbing, bitching about someone so that he does not get his bonus/promotion. Politicking is about being in the circuit, better create a circuit in which all the information first reaches you and flows through you. You control the levers. Being privy to information, which is not commonly known, is a great asset in an organization. Knowing the source of information (who is good enough to get the information first but does not have skills to use the information) and to share with whom, in what quantity, and at what time is another important skill. Sometimes, it makes great sense to create information and use it to test people’s reactions so that we understand what type of people we are working with. On the defensive side, being fuzzy and unfathomable is the trick. These, however, are easier said than done. I have recently heard of a case in an organization where a senior person, himself a politicking animal, played this game slightly incorrectly. This cost him his promotion and he is now trying hard to stay put in the job. His assistant, who was completely counting on him and did not have any other source of power, also took the brunt.

To reiterate,

1. Be intelligent/skilful
3. Maybe, work hard
4. Walk around
5. Be eclectic in sharing information
6. Create information
7. Be fuzzy. Don’t be caught in the circuit
8. Play politicking and play this hard and smart

Some people think these things will not happen in certain organizations. These things happen everywhere. The only point is to get to know the rules of the game in that organization.

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