- Google AIMLOKmoreYou know it's politics when doing the right thing isn't the optimal thing.
- Politics is when your superiors get positive credit for shit they don't really know and when they don't get noticed for how little they really know.
- Intel / Eng CoryPIs there a lot of that at Google? I got the impression that overall the politics were pretty lighthearted compared to other companies.
- I disagree. There are lots of politics. And many of the higher level folks use the lower level folks as pawns in their political games -- especially lower level women or anyone else who is in a vulnerable position socially due to stereotypes or whatnot.
This is why Google has issues with just about every single group that is in some way different than the average upper manager.
Maybe it's not any worse than other tech companies 🤷 but it's pretty bad.
- Target Ietd76I’ve found “corporate politics” to mostly be social politics. I’ve certainly met cunning/talented/genuine people who participate in politics in a fair, ethical and productive way—but I have met more people whose success has come directly from their friendships, or disregard for lifting other people up.
- Not sure if that was aimed at me. Joined Google quite late in my career. It's more political than what I've dealt with at other places.
It feels like everyone is trying to create a narrative to further their goals. We're all just a cast of characters forced into roles instead of just doing work being valued for what we bring to the table.
If you're cast in a role that's close to who you are, then it's not really a problem. But, I keep getting stereotyped and cast in a role that is nothing like who I am. People assume that I'm at a very different place in my career with completely different skills. I'm constantly having to fight off false narratives. And sadly, I can't just keep my head down and ignore it because this impacts collaboration and even what work I have in the first place. It wasn't like this before.
- if you're lucky, you won't see much of it. if you're unlucky, you'll know what it is very quickly.
- Microsoft scarypandapolitics is a skill that you need to master if you want to grow in your career
- Sorry, but I don't agree.
It really depends on what individuals perceive "growing" as.
- power/position/title for some,
- money for the most,
- sense of accomplishment or learning for some (also harshly categorized as losers by bullies).
Without politics, many things can be achieved in life, but not everyone has liberty to do what they love.
- For power, position, title as LaCroix mentioned it helps you navigate and doing it with respect is paramount as it requires leadership ... but for money, accomplishment, etc ... fuck politics ... just do you (and maybe transfer to a company that values you more for being you — proper culture fit helps here)
There was another post somewhere about mission/product vs comp/culture in regards to Elon Musk. Gives you another perspective ...
- Do what is right for the job. Do not argue with people. Be nice with everybody. Do not spend time trying to catch attention of VP/Exec. Do not cheap talk or talk in the back of people. This is how you stay out of politics.
- Sometimes you have to be a vocal advocate for yourself, even to get fair credit. On the one hand, If you’re doing the right thing then you should also not shirk from standing up for yourself/ looking to safeguard your own work. OTOH Sadly this sometimes turns into a slippery slope.May 24 4
- Capital One NightMarch@mNueH or maybe you should be a decent human being who's life's value isn't validated by how much money they make and how much s***t they can talk on anonymous digital platforms. This disgusting sentiment is literally what is wrong with the world today and yeah... I work at a bank.
- First level manages who don't write code. Get out if this applies to you.
- DigitalOcean wwDOdoSeriously. I don’t want a manager that codes. The ones I’ve had are a pain in the ass who think they know everything and then impose that shit on you. “My way is right”.
You can’t be expected to write code if you manage a team of people because most of your day is getting pulled into meetings with other people who want something from your team. If you get to code you’ll become a bottleneck. Your job as a manager is to keep shit like politics away from your team.May 26 7
- Agree with digitalocean, maybe the manger can do code reviews if he has enough time, but no point in sharing the coding burden, the point is he will always be distracted and pulled out of context, so his managerial code will be crap, but all others will be nice and play along, without pointing him to his mistakes (the manager will simply lack the time to understand all code base, so his code will be correct at small scale and wrong for long term and large scale)May 26 1
- Agree with wwDOdo.
Management is a completely different skillset from doing technical work.
The worst managers that I've had have been ones who are insecure. This doesn't bode well for any ICs under them who are more technical than them. It's very limiting for the team.
The best managers that I've had know their strengths and weaknesses and empower their people. Managers don't need to have answers to technical issues. They just need to know who on their team does know and then pave the way for them.May 28 1
- A line manager who is newly promoted from IC and is filling the “technical lead manager” type role might be expected to code, but if they are progressing in their career, they should stop coding after 6 months - 1 year. If they are still coding, they are likely not focused on their managerial/leadership duties. Of course, this depends on the size of the company, the kind or product/service, the politics of the company, etc. but in my experience, managers who code tend not to be good managers. It’s even worse if they had an inexperienced leader tell them they had to code, so then they try to do both and can’t focus on their managerial responsibilities in a way that shelters their team and ensures that they are getting everything they need to succeed, including developing their skills and careers, org efficiency, recruiting/hiring, performance management, etc.May 29 1
- “First line managers that don't write code can't make ad-hoc techically decisions that shield their team.” First of all, first line managers shouldn’t be making ad-hoc technical decisions. Perhaps this makes sense in an org where great coders and architects get promoted to manager as part of a career path, but I think that companies like Salesforce have it right by differentiating managers and ICs. Your principal and very senior ICs should be making technical decisions that shield your team, while the manager should be navigating organizational processes in a way that shields the team, either by getting the resources they need, keeping them from doing more work than they can handle, or getting impediments out of the way. If that first line manager was an experienced engineer themselves, then they will need to learn to delegate and coach their reports on how to keep them up to date on what’s relevant for them to do their job and ensure the team’s success. That is the huge challenge at every level of management. And team members who see their manager as someone who (by nature of being technical) should absorb what they are doing by osmosis after being in meetings all day (not practical) should think about why org structure exists. They should learn about the different roles and responsibilities of each role and level that fits together to make an organization successful.May 29 3
- Coding and managing are two different disciplines. Being a great coder should not be a prerequisite for being a manager. That being said a front line managers should understand what their people do. For a code team that means understanding programming. That does not mean that they should be expert coders or write code. You can’t effectively lead a team if you don’t understand what they do, you may be able compensate for your deficit in other ways or your team may be able to, but either way you will not be able to serve your team in an optimal fashion. As you move to more senior levels of management the coding skills do become less though.Jun 3 0
- Uber MandrakesI would avoid to an extreme to engage in gossip. Do not ask about it, don’t comment, don’t listen. Just keep doing what you think is right. Try to understand why people disagree with you. Speak the truth when asked, and try to be kind. You’ll be fine.
- Amazon bingmingHave you ever seen a project done in a very complicated manner then all of the sudden the engineer that led that project gets promoted? That’s corporate politics
- Politics is finding synergy across orgs and bringing awareness to those realities through the lens of the customer.
Then ruthlessly working to eliminate those who would rather have stagnant fiefdoms than work towards customer outcomes through leverage aligned with overall strategy.
- Happy to be wrong on the latter. Too many eng interview candidates lately that lack fundamentals :p (Python rules though).
Was just picking apart your incorrect word choice of option. Cynical humor begets cynical humor.
Good people do politics so others can do their job with minimal fuckery and fight against duplicate and/or lazy efforts around the company (if it is inside the same group or worse product then things are well fucked). People "failing upwards" is what causes so much political turmoil.
- Politics is when someone does the work and someone else takes the credit. Politics is when one deserves promotion but the other lazy one gets the promotion. Politics is when you are forced to follow your senior despite you having all evidences that your opinion is the right one. Politics is when the culture promotes people based on "who" you know rather than "what" you know. Politics reminds me of toxic Walmart environment in Bentonville Arkansas. It kills creativity, kills innovation, kills enthusiasm, and leaves your company with filthy political people good for nothing!
- I wish I knew. I became victim of politics and eventually just found a better place to work, where I'm more challenged, and more learned because of solving those tough problems. Honestly, you can't change the company culture. You can just do yourself a favor and find a new job!
- Google g4nduI cannot recommend this book enough to identify the most common "power play" politics and how you can protect against it. https://amzn.to/2HzsRIl
- In general, understand peoples wants needs goals motivations, do not assume they will be selfless and team oriented, and notice how their actions result in outcomes for themselves or particular others. Learn the rules of the game, and take whatever actions needed to keep yourself out of it (if you prefer to remain “clean”). Try to keep your soul alive though if you can — this means both not yielding to temptation and not getting into the habit of expecting/assuming ill intent on the part of others. Act as if everyone is honest but be prepared to defend yourself and your interests within the realms of integrity.
- Er what?
I meant the above to be practical advice for those inclined towards notions of idealism (like op appears to be, and like myself), not necessarily to reflect any personal trauma or bitterness :) I’ve had my share of shitty situations but not too hung up about any of it luckily.
- Politics is anything that doesn’t involve getting something done that clearly benefits the business. Scenarios that there are justification for but maybe you disagree with don’t count—politics is the stuff that you spot when nearly everyone who isn’t political looks at it and says, in disbelief, “what is this” or “why would we do that.”
Politics is empire building, reorgs that appear to have no meaningful business purpose, people getting promoted for things other than merit, people who get crapped on despite doing a good job, people who take credit for things they did not do, brown nosing superiors, intentional complexity when simplicity will suffice or be better, change for the sake of change, perpetuating or implementing bad processes, and making decisions that don’t put the company first.
Rise above the BS and do what you think is right. If doing that gets you in trouble, it’s time to move on to somewhere where there is less BS.
- Some people have to play politics to provide space for people to do what is right. Find managers who strive to create that space and don't have patience for groups that try and validate their existence through process and complexity. Most people don't want to play these games and it sucks that they are needed but that is just how it goes.
- I agree that people sometimes have to play that game even when they don’t want to and that having people protect their directs and chain of command below them is very helpful.
The best line of command is having two or three levels above you of people who know how to play the game if needed but operate in a “no BS” mode by default. I hate politics because it’s a monumental waste of my time but when people play it with me, I play as dirty but by the book as possible so they know not to even try next time.
- Amazon BigglesIf you think you are bad at politics, remain an IC, and get your promotions by switching jobs.
Also, don’t worry about your neighbors TC being higher than yours, just whether yours is enough.
90% of politics is now gone.
You’ll be happier that way.
- As a junior engineer, the amount of politics you’ll have to deal with is minimal.
As you become more senior, and especially if you move into management (people and/or product), politics become inevitable.
They’re the effect of the fact that most things require getting people to work together who have different ideas, goals, priorities, agendas, beliefs, ways of working... it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The mere existence of politics is a fact of life, and they are even a positive thing if they force you to think about other people (putting yourself in their shoes, understanding where they come from, etc).
The challenge is to not become an asshole. Become a leader by helping people be successful, finding compromises, fostering ideas. Avoid playing games, thinking selfishly, being sneaky, backstabbing your coworkers, etc.
- Where would we be without politics? Likely at war and at each other's throats. The key is making sure your career is advancing and you're not caught holding the bag. A good boss will apriase you of all the players and their “finish them” moves as well as safeguard you from falling into the gruesome trenches.
If you feel like you don’t know the details you should ask your boss.
- Microsoft Rsbs67Politics is literally just people working together. Any time you have people working together on anything, you will have politics. What people usually mean when they say "office politics" is cutthroat/backstabbing company culture, which is completely different.
Everyone has their own motivations and agendas. They all want something different out of their life or career. Politics happens whenever people come together, and "being good" at politics means different things within different company cultures. At an org who values teamwork, collaboration, and openness, you will get ahead by working well with others, not getting bogged down by "who's idea was it" and helping lift others up. In an org where the culture is cutthroat, behaving as above will get you crushed and taken advantage of.
Best advice when it comes to office politics is find and office where the things you like doing are valued by the culture, and things you don't like are not valued. This is called culture fit, and is generally more important to your well-being than "TC or GTFO" type thinking.
- Amazon qRyx15It can be either positive or negative. It depends on the culture of the organization. It’s simply a combo of human behavior, org behavior, relationships, tenets, and how people use things like influence, authority and information for the benefit of themselves, others or their teams/company. Not sure being immune is possible, but it is possible to retain your integrity and not get involved in negative behaviors.
- When you feel your trapped in a game you don’t understand how to win the level you’ve encountered politics. To some degree there are politics everywhere you go. The higher up you go the more politics you likely will see. It’s good to be aware of it and hone it as a skill. Just because you use politics doesn’t make it evil as long as your doing what is right for the company and not just to put another notch in the belt. Oh and no matter what make sure to stick to your values and be ethical as well.
- You prevent him from read it, but on the otherside some people are using its technique, he needs to understand other people's techniques so he can protect himself. Still it's people choice to use it for good or bad. The idea is we need to understand more about human behaviour and how to create the best culture.
- it's how you go from being a cripple who didn't do much to being the king of 7 kingdoms.
- I believe that most if not all interaction between people is political. With this in mind I think it is best to be equipped to play politics, however you need to approach it with a strong set of personal principles. For me these principles are that I will not snitch to higher ups about individuals (I will speak to larger trends/attitudes), I will try to positively affect my team culture, and I will not attempt to sabotage a colleague. With these things in mind I'm able to engage in workplace politics without being seen as a threat or as overly ambitious.
- I find it useful to also maintain a secret map of your political environment. Cliques exist that don't necessarily conform to formalized work groupings (especially in larger teams) and typically those groups have one or two main decisionmakers that also connect that clique to others. Being able to influence those people will allow you to reach a whole group. In a team of 45 participants I am tracking 7 distinct cliques and their relationships (understanding this is actually important to my role btw)May 25 2
- Read this: https://hbr.org/2017/04/the-4-types-of-organizational-politics
Avoid pathologically political organizations: Politics are out of control. Understanding them becomes the job. People are miserable. Important shit doesn’t get done or totally gets missed because people are too busy fighting, competing with one another, and kissing ass.
- How to deal with gossipers who talk negative behind your back and seniors who are taking the credit of the work you did?
- Document your work and your wins in such a way that they are fully traceable back to you. Be proactive in sharing what you’re doing and why, not just at review time but at least monthly in whatever regular setting is most appropriate. It may take a little bit for some to spot you as a real contributor but they’ll realize that you are and the others are full of hot air. If the right people aren’t seeing that and you’re doing the above, you’re in a bad spot and it’s time to move.
- I’d add also deliver value to others even in scenarios where you don’t get credit, or there’s nothing in it directly for you. In addition to the goodwill you earn, over time it’ll become increasingly apparent that you’re the go-to person. That kind of cred is hard to disrupt.
- Oracle TKvy28Politics is what unsuccessful people use to explain their lack of advancement. Everybody thinks they are an all star but few really are
- Lyft zz7yqa45If there is either a lot of money involved or prestige, there will be politics. The main thing is to avoid entanglements with dishonest people.
- I think “Politics” is a catch all phrase when employees don’t feel included in decision making. Don’t worry about it. Ten years down the road you’ll be making the decisions and those who work for you will be calling it all “politics”.
In the meantime build your network. The second common use of the phrase “politics” is just relationship building. From a new employee’s standpoint it doesn’t make sense that managers are on the phone or in meetings all day. However it is their job to make deals and coordinate the work of others. That takes “political” skill like negotiating, influencing, and creating impressions/perceptions to motivate customers, investors, and employees like you who create and maintain the products.
- Ha its when you know something is for the betterment of the organization, employees and bottom line but the power players may not want the ideas brought up because it can reduce their influence. You have to know how to maneuver around key players and how to lobby to effectively get your thoughts and ideas heard. Also, key players will often try to assume your innovation as their own. Multiple times i came up with ideas and my boss told me to shut up so i submitted my ideas to the stakeholders and they made a commercial out of a speech i made and implemented the training course I spoke I created. He literally tried to take all of the credit. It was rediculous.
I play politics for a living both in and out of work. Literally, all day everyday.
- Charter / IT xlyq06Politics is saying or doing something you wouldn't be saying/doing if the person your talking about or taking from was next to you. It doesn't matter if it's another team, a coworker, whatever.
To stay out of politics can be a personal choice but its going to occur and you will be subject to it regardless of your personal choice
Flagged by the community.
- Oracle tchtchSurprised that no one from Oracle has chimed in yet. Our main business is politics followed by legal. Based on my experience, if the environment is political, there’s not much choice for one to stay out of it. I for one did and suffered from low TC whereas the line managers took credit and got promoted with no work. So you can either be a part of it or gtfo. Any other option will only lead to a serious damage to your career.