In order to perform at a level of consistency and effectiveness that I am satisfied with, I have to make a few assumptions about a person’s work ethic.
Firstly, that they are doing the best that they can, and secondly, that they want to do a good job. I am very often incorrect in this assumption, but it would be incredibly difficult for me to stay motivated if I were to accept that it is predominately not the case.
That being said, I find conventional work place politics antiquated and ineffective. I attempt to balance that against my own inability to navigate it, and I participate just the same, but always with a slight detachment in investment of the outcome, out of an inability to embrace its necessity.
Most recently for me, this awareness keeps working its way to my top of mind, largely because of the time and attention investment one particular client has been of late. It is to a point where I am considered a “full-time” employee, though I have certainly been personally investing more than 40 hours a week for several years. This particular place has a broad range of marketing requests from content, email and web creation and management, to customer experience curation and improvement, all executed by myself personally. And yet, I find that the largest barrier to success has nothing to do with customer interest or engagement.
People, employees; the ambassadors of the business and the value it creates, tend to be its biggest downfall. Perhaps that is the genesis and necessity of office politics that I struggle with. But, I find that even the simple perspectives I am incorrectly assuming seem to be a large part of the nature of work.
Everyone in the company believes that customer satisfaction is a priority vital to the measurable success of the organization.
This seems like a no-brainer to me. And yet, for this particular client, it has never been. Perhaps this is not always the case!
The most important consideration at work is the success of the company.
Personal ambitions and expectations, as well as the attempted assertion of a chain of command – to harken back to unnecessary politics – create a myriad of varying priorities and this creates a fundamental lack of unity in decision making and goal seeking.
Performing solid consistent work and maintaining a positive attitude while embodying the other two assumptions will be met with a positive response.
It is terribly frustrating and inefficient and from what I can tell can only remedied by accepted leadership. Hence again, the love-hate of a hierarchy. I honestly think that “in charge” is not the proper dynamic. It really functions better as a defined list of priorities, and individuals or teams trusted to own the execution of aspects of it. But what do I know.