Hello SOTGC community,
How many of you have heard: “Business is a game.” Or: “How well do you understand office politics?” Now, how many of you have heard this and thought: “Business isn’t a game. This is IMPORTANT to me! This is my career!” Or thought: “I shouldn’t have the play the game because I do my job and I get good results!”
Regardless of how you want to look at it, business is a game that does have rules, strategy, and for those that want to move up in the corporate ladder, you have to learn how to play the game well. The best way to understand the rules of engagement of the department, office, or company you’re in is to pay close attention to everything going on around you.
What decisions are being made on the executive level? Why are those decisions being made? What does that say about the current state and future of your department/office/company? As these decisions and/or changes are being made and implemented, how will your role be affected by them?
One thing to remember is to NOT associate being strategic with being malicious or immoral. Good business strategy simply means that you’re observing what’s going on, anticipating what is to come, and making sure your position is secure for both promotion and job security.
A great piece of advice that Ryan Goodman, Founder and CEO of Centigon Solutions, once gave regarding business strategy is: “Find out who has the juice [i.e. power], and who has the budget.” Why does this apply to moving forward in your career? One great way to advance in your career is to get approval to spearhead a project that could help your company, and move it through to completion. Oftentimes the person with the cool, big title is not the person who can or will actually help you complete the project or goal you have in mind. Goodman suggests that you find the person that TRULY has the power (juice) to get the project or idea completed. And just as importantly, find who has the budget to even entertain the idea of what you want to accomplish.
The best way to asses your own security in your company and get an idea of where you stand in the business strategy currently being employed is to ask yourself these questions:
- If my company was sold tomorrow, would my job be at risk?
- If my company was sold tomorrow, which managers would be asked to stay and which would be “let go” during the acquisition?
- Of those managers who would remain, which ones would recommend that I keep my job because I’m a crucial part of the department or company’s success?