I read about an HR head sharing advice he got from a senior leader on the subject of politics. The gist of it was – “Be aware of politics, understand the dynamics. And ignore it while continuing to do the right thing for you and your organization.”
As a politics student, I beg to differ.
Politicians have given politics a bad name. Our own ineffective participation in the political process as citizens and voters has given politics a bad name.
Politics is not a dirty word. If you equate politics with everything negative and refuse to have anything to do with it, you haven’t quite grasped its essence. Politics is an inescapable part of our human condition. You might think you have washed your hands off, but politics impacts you all the time. In other words, you may ignore politics but make no mistake about it, politics is not ignoring you!
What is politics? It is the process of resource-allocation in any set-up. How to use any resource – food,wealth, time, material resources, arms, energy, any resource.On what basis is this allocation made? On the basis of values, be they liberty, equality, fairness, justice. And on the basis of power – the most central concept of politics.
Values infuse politics in just the same way they grace any human endeavour, be it art,sports or business. Power determines who has the decisive say. How can you ignore politics? Can you ignore values? Can you ignore power?
The very definition of the right thing to do depends on 1))what values you choose as the supreme ones and 2) A realistic assessment of the power-equation.
Politics is the art of the possible.You cannot ignore politics.
Resource allocation, Values, Power. Do you think business does not trade in these things. Who are you kidding?!