How Do I Get Power/Influence? Let’s say you’ve recognized that you want influence or power in your job, either to move ahead or avoid falling behind. First and as a given, you need to do your present job exceptionally well even if it’s a joe job and you know you’d be more successful at a higher level. Bosses don’t promote people who are doing a crummy job, no matter the reason. However, that’s not enough. To position yourself for prom...

Power Matters to You In the last post, you were vying for the power to develop a new company service. Despite your and Sarah’s best efforts, Mike positioned himself as the only one to do it. Why should you care about power? So, why does this matter? You may be thinking that you’re not power-hungry so this undercurrent can’t or shouldn’t affect you. (My definition of power is later if you’re interested.) After all, you’ve got a job. Wh...

Power—The Hidden Engine at Work As I mentioned in a previous post, there are at least five undercurrents in organizations. Power is an important one. Here’s an example of how it’s used at work. Power at work Your company manufactures greeting cards. You are meeting with your boss Galen and your peer managers. Galen is a nice guy but to your mind, too much under the influence of Mike, one of your peers. Galen: Alicia [Galen’s boss] wants a...

Wouldn’t It Be Better if I Made the Management Decision Myself? Well, depends on what you mean by ‘better.’ Faster? Yes. More efficient? Yes. More effective? Hmm—maybe not. In all the areas under your authority, you have the right to make decisions, with or without employee input. And if there are compelling operational reasons (e.g. certain skills must be available, etc.), it’s probably appropriate to do so. Similarly, relatively trivi...

Letting Your Own Needs Interfere With Your Management Responsibilities You, of course, never do this. You are totally objective and above all such pettiness. Un-huh. And when you get over yourself, you can be welcomed back into the human race. In the workplace, companies demand everyone make decisions based on what’s good for the company and not themselves. You’re a team player if you do and a selfish, ambitious, and self-serving person if yo...

Introduction to the Dark Side
/ November 7, 2017

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you`ve been blind-sided? That is, something has happened at work, often to your detriment, and you didn’t see it coming. Might be that you expect to get the promotion and it went to another guy, much less able than you. Might be that you were telling like it is and find yourself on the outs with the rest of the team. Or even find yourself going along with a group decision even though y...

Manager Stream
/ November 7, 2017

If you’ve read the Introduction to The Dark Side, you know that if you can’t manage these undercurrents well, your career will stall and you might even find yourself slipping back. But a manager has a dual role. You are both manager and employee It’s no news to you that in some situations you are the boss with the responsibility to lead your team and in others, you are your boss’ employee, tasked with implementing her directions...

Employee Stream
/ November 6, 2017

If you’ve read the Introduction to the Dark Side, you know that you need to pay attention to the undercurrents which operate in every company. The Employee Stream has two audiences: Workers who are individual contributors and do not have any one reporting to them Managers who are employees of their bosses, and are subject to the same stresses of an employee as any other. Managers have a further challenge to manage  undercurrents in ...

All about me
/ April 29, 2016

All About Me I have long been fascinated by what I call the Dark Side—the undercurrents of power, lying, groupthink, and others—which are present in all organizations but are rarely acknowledged or even recognized. I worked for many years in a large corporation and then for twenty years consulted with large corporations. In all this time, I saw where the favorite and not the best person got the promotion; where you knew enough to ke...

The Honest One
/ August 4, 2015

About This book is both a novel and essays about work life. In the novel, David is a young man intent on moving up in the company, Protech, which designs security systems. To do this, he steals an idea for a new product from a junior employee and sells it to senior management as his own. The idea takes off but David has to constantly having to do questionable things to keep his status as golden boy. He spies on another colleague for fea...