[thechat] No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sat Apr 11 16:20:29 CDT 2009

On 7 Apr 2009, at 04:19, Matt Warden wrote:

>> As much as that sucks, it's a common situation. When I started to  
>> work where
>> I did, the current IT Manager disagreed with everything I said.  
>> Luckily, in
>> this power struggle, I eventually get to take his place and finally  
>> prove my
>> way was the best available.
> As geeks, this is generally our approach. We are hard-wired to expect
> other people to recognize what we know is right and to be "won over."
> We also believe that people should ascend to their level of ability,
> and as long as we keep fighting the good fight, people upstairs will
> eventually recognize it and promote us to where we belong.
> The trouble is, the world doesn't really work like that, even in the
> long term

Yep - much as we look down our noses at 'politics', we have to have an  
appreciation of it to get stuff done. Three useful points to ponder on:

1) Politics is the art of the *possible* - your task is to get as  
close to the ideal solution as possible, but that's nearly always only  
part-way there. Sometimes, second best is the best you *can* get.

2) Knowing the right solution, but being unable to persuade anyone to  
adopt it, is no more useful than not knowing the right solution

3) Decisions are rarely made in meetings and through formal papers.  
Google Nemawashi and apply it consistently. Work out who the *real*  
decision-makers are, and how you can influence them ahead of time  
(lift conversations included). Choose confrontation only when you know  
you've already won (hmm we seem to have strayed into Sun Tzu).


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