I am working for a telecommunications company. Currently, I am one step before a managerial position, being one of the senior supervisors of the Operations Division. My dilemma is, I know (and most others do) that my boss’ eyes are already centered on another supervisor, of a team functionally the same as mine (teams are geographically defined). This is in spite of the fact that I feel I am a better performer and more technically adept. This is not just my own opinion. Others notice this too, and agree that I am equally, if not far more entitled.
I have tried various approaches. I have strived harder to make them notice me but for some reasons my rival and my boss’ bonding is unbreakable/unbeatable. In addition, I don’t seem to get projects where I could “shine”. They do, only to make me dimmer.
The problem is that the culture here in my work place is somewhat like you should “be noisy, loud, be omnipresent… TO BE FAMOUS”. You cannot present your opposing ideas even in a well delivered manner, else, you’d be branded as “not belonging” to the culture. I guess I’m just a victim of this.
There isn’t a clear or impending promotion yet. But that’s the problem… if and when it comes, I know I already lost the game even before this writing.
Should I leave?
Noise on the line
OFFICE-POLITICS REPLY BY DR. RICK BRANDON AND DR. MARTY SELDMAN
Dear Noise on the line,
You seem to be someone who is knowledgeable about organizational politics. We always say that awareness and the ability to read people and situations is at least half of being savvy. Unfortunately being savvy is not a substitute for power. Savvy can help you analyze your situation, initiate strategies to maximize your chance for success and choose the best working environment.
In your case your analysis of the fact that your boss has imbued someone else with the “halo effect” seems to be supported by the views of others. It sounds like if decisions were based on competence and merit you would be the pick.
Your efforts to garner positive attention are what we would recommend but the deck seems stacked against you. The other data point that you mentioned that concerns us is how the company responds to people who push back and challenge. So we agree, as described, this is far from an ideal environment. Does that mean you should leave?
The answer to that depends on many variables. If you are young, confident, have marketable skills and few geographic restrictions the decision is a lot easier.
We often advise people to create a positive net worth and savings; maintain an external network; and routinely check their market value so that they do not feel trapped when they find themselves in these type of situations.
If you do decide to leave, use your savvy skills to determine the true culture of any organization you contemplate joining.
Rick Brandon, Ph.d. and Marty Seldman, Ph.D. Co-authors,
Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success
Rick Brandon, Ph.d. and Marty Seldman, Ph.D. are Co-authors, Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success. Dr. Rick Brandon is CEO of Brandon Partners. He has consulted and trained tens of thousands at corporations worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries. Dr. Marty Seldman is one of America’s most experienced executive coaches. His 35-year career includes expertise in executive coaching, group dynamics, cross-cultural studies, clinical psychology, and training.
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