Life is a competition and those who pretend its not are destined to lose
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. However, every business has the same goal: To grow and make profits. Inflation makes the cost of doing business higher every year. Therefore, all businesses have to grow in order to remain profitable. When a business is not profitable, it has to shrink in one way or another so it can lower expenses and stay profitable.
Many people who fail at office politics don’t understand what a business is and why it exists. They might believe the office is a place to make friends and work as a team to get things done. Sometimes this is true, but only when things are going well. Like most situations in life, its easy for people to get along when everyone is comfortable.
The deadliest mistake anyone can make at work is to get “comfortable” or to put full trust in co-workers, bosses or managers. Maybe you believe your position is “important” and hard to replace, so you can relax and throw your weight around. Think again. The speed at which change occurs in the modern world guarantees change will come. And if you get comfortable at work and lack foresight, its only a matter of time before the rug is pulled out from under your feet.
The most common ways people have the rug pulled out from under them is either by company reorganization or some form of sabotage or backstabbing. The office is not a place of morals. It’s a place of production. If you are getting paid to work, you are expected to produce in such a way that the company remains profitable. You need to bring value that exceeds your cost.
Sometimes when people bring value that exceeds their cost, they get a big head at work and start throwing their weight around; making demands or seeking more power. Ironically, this behavior can lower their value to the employer and make them too expensive to keep around. Then they feel “betrayed” by their boss whom they believed was their ally.
Winning at office politics is extremely simple. You need to be cheaper than you’re worth. You have to bring more VALUE than you cost. If you do this consistently, you will be bulletproof and your job will stay safer than most. You will be more likely to survive layoffs, mergers, and other disruptions.
Essentially, you win the game by not playing it. You play the big picture game of knowing why you are there and acting accordingly. If you have the same job as someone else, it’s better to outperform them than to play the political game of brown nosing. Believe it or not, brown nosing can be viewed as a form of overcompensation. You don’t need to kiss ass when you bring value. And bosses who require you to kiss their ass usually believe they can easily replace you. Thus, there is no reason to treat you well.
Never get involved in gossip, drama, and fights over how the company should run. Instead, present your ideas and provide strong support. If they are shot down by someone over your head, accept it and respect that person’s authority. Its best to always make your boss look good while not being a threat to them at the same time. You’ll find you won’t even need to ask for raises and promotions. You’ll get them simply because you’re helping the business make more MONEY than it would without you.
Finally, if you work at a place where you can’t outperform the people doing the same job as you, it’s only a matter of time before you are replaced. This is the harsh reality many people don’t like to accept. Thus, they live in denial and act surprised when they are handed their walking papers.
Employers always want to keep people working for them until the second they don’t need them anymore. It is much more profitable this way because they can keep transitions smooth, rather than rushing to replace someone who quits unexpectedly. Therefore, you often won’t know your days are numbered until its too late.
The lesson is to avoid working at jobs that don’t play to your strengths. This goes for your personality as well as your skills. True job security comes from being a hot commodity that’s profitable to employers. A person might gain short-term security from kissing ass, flirting, and playing politics, but if that person is not profitable to keep around, it’s only a matter of time before they’re kicked out.