Leadership insight: Politics in business

Posted by Cranfield School of Management on 02-Dec-2015 15:43:01

It’s uncommon to find a business where people work in perfect harmony, towards the greater good of their organisation. There are conflicting agendas within every business (that is to say, goals which drive people towards personal or organisational gain).

Yet despite political awareness being a crucial element of effective leadership, it's commonly overlooked in the management development arena. As a result, those in leadership positions often find themselves scrambling to adapt to the political landscape, or taking a more proactive approach to their personal development. 

A vital step towards maximising operational delivery is recognising the influence of politics on the decision-making process, then acting accordingly to influence others and maximise leadership effectiveness. That’s because political work, whether parliamentary or organisational, is all about recognising and reconciling diverse stakeholder interests. It’s not something managers can shy away from — it’s the essence of their job.

This article, by Dr. David Butcher and Dr. Martin Clarke from our management school, explores the area in more detail, addressing ways managers can become honourable politicians, and encourage employees to follow suit. 

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How we can help

Within Cranfield School of Management we believe that leadership is a skill that needs to be honed, developed and nurtured. The Centre for General Management Development (CGMD) offers general management programmes that help managers at key career stages develop into leaders who influence the strategic course of their organisations. The management development courses, which cover the subject of knowledge sharing, are:

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