This is going to be a political post.

I’ve got your full attention now, right?

Don’t worry, this won’t be an article that talks about politics as we’ve come to know it. Rather, we are going to explore politics as it relates to our businesses and lives.

We’ve certainly seen many aspects of “politics,” specifically in the last 12 months. We’ve witnessed partisan squabbling, filibusters, in-fighting, name calling, lobbying, manipulation, half-truths, omissions, and spin doctoring. We’ve also recognized behind the scenes negotiations in good faith, compromising, representing important interests, and creating laws to help people.

All these actions occur daily in our business and personal lives. We just don’t refer to them as “politics.”

You’ve likely known people that are excellent at the “filibuster;” that is talking non-stop and disallowing anyone else’s opinion or story to get said.

How about the back room politicking to debate promotions, discipline, growth strategy, or where to go on vacation?

You’ve probably been part of telling half-truths or spin doctoring in a non-manipulative way to spare feelings or advance objectives for improved conditions.

We all engage in politics. In business, we aim to negotiate, to earn new business, to create new products and services, to help others, and to enhance brand and reputation. In life, we advocate for family and friends, we plan events, we care for those in need, and we look to improve our lifestyle and security.

Unfortunately, politics in business and life can also be power-hungry, manipulative, self-serving, and destructive. In fact, I’d wager that more “bad politics” are evident in small businesses and families than in Washington DC (or any other country governing body).

We all have the ability to stop it if we want. Too often, even leaders are disinclined to speak up and call out bad behavior in fear of retribution, loss of relationships, or loss of position.

Families also suffer when differing opinions that lead to callous behavior and malicious words splinter the most valuable of relationships.

Life is politics.

We have the ability to develop an organizational culture that is built on mutual respect, empathy, healthy disagreement, and equity. The same can be said in our relationships with family and friends.

We are all in politics whether we like it or not. It’s up to us as individuals and organizations to demonstrate how “politically profitable” we are.

Quote of the Week:

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it

~ Amanda Gorman, Unites States Youth Poet Laureate

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