Divergent Thought — Playing the Corporate Game — Episode 5

The dynamic, fluid, and unpredictable nature of work life can be quite stressful for some individuals. They go to work simply to offer value, do well at the selected tasks, and get compensated for doing so. Navigating the political landscape can be a tiring undertaking for those who lack the interest and/or skill to do so. That said, the game is being played regardless of whether or not we actively participate.

On this episode of Divergent Thought, we talked with Talent expert, former NFL executive, and Protégé Podcast host, Rory Verrett.

Throughout our conversation, we discussed various ways to engage in the workplace while being true to oneself. We talked about dress code, signaling, code switching, and a variety of other elements of workplace engagement that are necessary to successfully traverse the political landscape within an organization.

Understanding the rules, following the rules, getting good enough to change the rules, learning from others, and sharing lessons learned with others is the only way to play. Anything else can get your disqualified without your knowledge.

Here are seven lessons learned from the show:

1. The game is being played whether or not you want to play or acknowledge it

2. The only way to alter the rules is to get good enough to change the rules

3. Spending time with an organization can help you determine what you do and do not want to do and better understand where your abilities and aptitude align

4. Diplomacy and tact are of critical importance within the workplace. Having the ability to speak effectively and convincingly in disparate situations is paramount.

5. Stay focused in the midst of chaos.

6. Be authentic. It is easier to play the game when you are you.

7. Be patient. If you want to effectively play the game and climb the ladder, patience is truly a virtue.

Understanding organizational dynamics and the associated elements of power, politics, influence, and human behavior are necessary to effectively engage within and external to the workplace. Even if you opt out of playing the game, know that you are a pawn on the chessboard and people will move you at their will. If you choose to opt in, learn the landscape, pay attention, move when it is advantageous to do so, and stay focused.

We are rooting for you.

Please join us on Wednesday nights on blis.fm from 8–9pm ET.

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Until next time — love everybody and treat everybody right!


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