Being an effective CEO requires the ability to lead through others by getting teams on board in order to ensure effective execution of every campaign or project. Often times, leaders may struggle with the idea of being political as many individuals have grown believing it’s a “bad” thing-society has incorrectly labeled the word political. To put it straight, politics is essentially the act of making decisions within a group and sets of activities involving the distribution of resources or status.
It is therefore understandable how politics are intrinsically linked with business operations, as effective leadership’s main job is to marshal within and outside the company for its committed purpose. Leaders with a deep understanding of politics will have the capacity to draw knowledge from the best statesmen and world leaders. They will develop the capacity to examine their surroundings and constituents, cultures, backgrounds, motivations, allegiances and ambitions to ensure that a manifest is created and successful communicated. Building a political leadership requires three key steps – start and do more, stop or reduce doing, and continue doing.
Starting and doing more requires leaders to invest time in connecting and understanding between the lines of stakeholders. It is prudent to build basic selling skills to promote the idea and get everyone on board. Reducing or cessation of the wrong activities requires leaders to avoid the traps of the misinformed ideas about politics and install a zero tolerance condition for any behaviour deemed as dysfunctional. Furthermore, wise CEOs must know to toggle between the “dos” and the “don’ts” as well as understanding and embracing the values and principals that need to be embedded within their organisation.
Raj Bowen is founder of New Directions, a company that provides mentoring in getting the best out of leaders, via one-on-one training and workshops. His decades of experience has seen the formation of practical tools and strategies for all leaders, be it senior executives in charge of delegating and team building, or entrepreneurs aiming to build their network. With his career focused facilitating team building, Raj Bowen has enabled hundreds of business to evolve and grow because of the same principles he is advocating here.