The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Office Politics by Shane Dustin

This book is for you to step on others in order to climb up. This book is for entertainment purposes.

A Dangerous Game. There are also two kinds of positions: candidate (play the game) or constituent (get run over). Learn to say and do the right thing at the right time. Shape inter-personal relationships at work. There are two types of career driven people, White Hats and Black Hats. White Hats will do the right thing and pursue self-improvement programs and play by the rules. Black Hats take aggressive steps to step on the toes of others. Like it or not, office politics is always present. Sometimes, you need to be selfish and play the game. Stand up and be counted. Learn to take a stand. Learn to play the game. To defend against the black hats, learn the following 21 rules.

Some may say playing the office politics game is a cowardly way to get ahead, but those in the know, and in the top corner offices, understand that getting ahead is about seizing opportunities, and using any means possible to serve themselves first. – Shane Dustin

Develop the Right Mindset. You are your own best advocate and you need to accept that. White Hats will volunteer for tough assignments. Black Hats will join projects that are already successful and leave those that are failures. Do not volunteer yourself for projects unless you understand the risks/rewards for the project.

Nobody cares as much about his or her career as you do, and nobody will step out on a limb to back you or support you, unless you take the first step. – Shane Dustin

Court Productivity. Productivity is not enough, self-marketing is important. Learn to create a continuity folder and help a subordinate to learn your job. Create SOPs and guidelines for your subordinate to follow so that hiring of the new guy can be smooth.

One of the shortest route to the top is to be better than anybody else. Once you know your job, learn your boss’s job. And where your job uses measurable goals or quotas, always set new standards. – Shane Dustin

Build a Network. Protect yourself from making wrong connections. You can help your juniors to excel, provide feedback on how to improve the department, volunteer on process improvement teams. Black Hat’s tactic is not to associate yourself with losers.

Politics is known as the art of compromising, and in the corporate world, you get ahead by helping the right people pursue their agendas and realize success. – Shane Dustin

Master the Redirect. Wear a rubber shield so that you can deflect criticism elsewhere. Learn to absorb praise when you receive it. You must learn to deflect blame and absorb credit to climb up the ladder. To be a good worker, accept responsibility for your failures. To be a black hat, disassociate yourself from department shortcomings. Transfer out of the department, if necessary.

Listen First. Do not spread gossip or rumours. A good worker will stop a rumour in its tracks.

Avoid the water cooler gossip circle, and do not get caught spreading rumors. Instead, keep your mouth shut, listen carefully, and observe which way the wind is blowing. When overwhelming evidence suggests the right course of action, take a stand with the winning side. – Shane Dustin

Stay Focused. You must have a plan. Know what it takes to get promoted and the skills required for that position. However, realize that it takes effort and hard work. Remind yourself of this goal and that should motivate you. Consistently learn about your boss’s job in order to stay head of your peers. A Black Hat doesn’t believe in loyalty to an organization and will jump around to different organizations in order to climb the ladder.

Be Resilient. There will always be critics, whether you are a white or black hat. You must have thick skin to win. You must tolerate the abuses your colleague gives you. Look for training opportunities. Attend conferences that are related to your job. A black hat will not attention to the conferences, but use it for networking purposes.

Get Impersonal. Make your colleagues your friends outside of work. Defend yourself when things get nasty. As a black hat, get your friends to achieve your goals. Only think about yourself. If you want to play office politics, understand that you may not be the most well-liked person around.

Maintain Plausible Deniability. Ensure that you obey the rules and code of conduct for your department and organization. Do not stray for it. For every crisis you survive, you will emerge stronger and fitter. To a black hat, do not commit to a deadline unless you are very sure you will not fail.

Know the Unwritten Rules. As you know the organization better, you will know that you can play outside the rules and regulations. The trick is to understand the written rules, but push the boundary. As a good worker, set rules and ensure that people comply and do not play dirty or over-step the rules. As a black hat, tell people to perform things outside of the written rules.

Copy Success. Learn from the people who have made it. Do not ‘re-invent the wheel’. Copy your supervisor’s good behaviour. As a black hat, steal others’ ideas and claim credit for it. Find out what are your boss’ hobbies and then research and chat with him about it.

It’s sad in human terms, but the reality is, getting ahead is often a game of attrition. Your job is to outlast your peers, and be the last soldier standing in the field when the war is over. If you copy the habits and behaviors of survivors, you will greatly increase your chances of joining their ranks. – Shane Dustin

Be Assertive. Learn to be assertive, and not aggressive. An assertive people is confident of their views and takes a stand. Be the person who is best prepared. Let the facts speak for themselves. To be a black hat, be very aggressive during meetings.

Grow Up. You must play by the rules of the big boys and girls. There is no shame in excelling at your work. Accept credit where it is due. Do not hide your accomplishments. Analyze your skillset and determine weak areas. Ensure you get the right training you need. Find ways to impress your job.

Take what is offered. Don’t let ego get in the way. Be bold to state what you want. Look to be number 1 even if others may not be happy with you. Accept what is rightfully yours. Accept any promotion.

Dump the Employee Mindset. The employer and employee goals are usually opposites. The employee wants to work as little as possible and get paid as much as possible. If you don’t like your employer, leave and start your own company. Change your attitude towards employers and treat them better. This is the capitalist system and you have to accept it. Always speak highly of your employer. Ask what you can do to improve the situation.

Your job is directly tied to the value you add to the organization. – Shane Dustin

Everybody Lies. We all lie. The best players of office politics do it the best. However, you can lie to your advantage. Listen to things from your colleagues with a pinch of salt. You can use lies of omission, as this is not completely lying, but just leaving out the key details. Exaggerate the good traits of your co-workers.

Cash in Your Chips. Negotiate the best trade-off. Give when you can, and take when you can. Co-operate with colleagues and make concessions.

Be Seen. Learn to draw attention to yourself. Volunteer to be the emcee at events.

The fact remains, anything you can do to grab the attention of the boss is good. Ideally, you will place yourself in the position to be noticed providing outstanding customer service, helping a co-worker resolve a problem, and being the last employee out of the building at night. – Shane Dustin

Adopt a Hobby. Learn to play golf and understand what hobby your boss likes. People like being around others with similar interests with them. Align yourself with those who have similar interests. Learn things about your new hobby. Spend time practising your new hobby.

Spurn Mediocrity. Do not be mediocre. Many are happy to be mediocre and have no drive in life. Do not be like them.

Nobody wants to be labelled as “average”. But few people will take the extra effort to rise above mediocrity. Which is a good thing for you, because it means there will be less competition for the better jobs. – Shane Dustin

Be a Professional. Learn to be a professional. Have consistency in your actions. Pursue excellence. Be punctual and make yourself available. Complete all the tasks within a given timeframe. Continue to play the office politics game.



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