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The 5 Stages of Politics in an Organization: Score Yourself Now!

The 5 stages of politics provide you a simple framework to evaluate how you deal with politics in an organization.

We all know that companies have two faces, each with its own power structure. There’s the rational side, with a power structure visible in the organisational chart and there’s the irrational side, with a hidden power structure, following the unwritten rules of the game.

Not everyone plays the political game in the same way. Some are natural born politicians an thrive in any situation. Others are ignorant. The 5 stages of politics challenge you to think about the unwritten rules of the game and how you handle them.

The 5 stages of politics in an organization:

Stage 1. You don’t realize there are political forces. Or you don’t know them.

Stage 2. You find it unethical, but start getting involved anyway. It feels unnatural.

Stage 3. You realize that there are also good political powers at work and start to run into heroes on several occasions. You start to see the positive side of politics in your company.

Stage 4. You get frustrated as you find out that the group that uses politics for their own benefit – the strategy tourists – are much better organised than the heroes.

Stage 5. You get into the game at full force, join forces with the other heroes and start a crusade against the tourists or you quit the scene and start over in another job where you start again at stage 1.

At what stage are you today?