When thinking politically today, you have to uncover the many tools you
possess that you’re not using, overcome any resistance you may have to activating
them, then apply them aggressively in a structured pattern of getting ahead.
Consider the assets you may not be using:
Beliefs and interests. If you have strong political, moral, spiritual, or other
beliefs, don’t keep them a secret on the job. Hobbies, sports, and other interests
can also gain you an immediate set of connections.
Heritage. While discriminating against people makes you an anachronistic legal
liability, don’t be reluctant to take advantage of your cultural, religious, racial, or
national background when selecting a firm to work for or when building
Education and schooling. Look for well-placed alumni of your alma mater.
Review what you studied to be sure you are not neglecting skills ort interests
that could help you rise on the job.
Appearance. An average appearance shouldn’t slow you down in business–but
if you’re better than average looking, you already stand apart from the crowd.
Don’t rely on good looks exclusively, but count them as an asset that can help
you look the part for a leadership role.
Linguistic ability. If you grew up speaking a second language or acquired
proficiency through study, you have a valuable tool. Use it to build ties to others
who speak the same language, and look for opportunities to help your business
move into foreign markets or establish ties abroad.
Community. Do you live in the same community as colleagues or members of
upper management? Sharing a commute–or some talk about town politics and
other community concerns–can strengthen a valuable alliance.
Home. If you can use your home to host power parties, why not?
Family. Don’t be reluctant to call upon your relatives for advice or help. And
sharing talk with colleagues about children’s schooling and other family matters
can establish a comfortable common ground with fellow workers. If your
spouse can offer advice to your colleagues on various concerns such as real
estate, investments, etc., don’t be shy about taking advantage of it.
Possessions. Do you collect paintings, cars, or stamps? Don’t hesitate to make
these interests known at work–you may find a network of other people who
share you interests.
Personality. You can build an alliance based on this elusive factor. Do you have
a keen sense of humor? Are you a hard-boiled skeptic or grump? There traits
can work for you. Look for people who share your outlook and stop by to laugh
about some recent event, or exchange grumpy thoughts.
Style. Are you a sophisticate, a jock, a chic dresser, a tweedy rumpled type, or
something else? You may have to make some stylistic modifications to survive
in certain businesses, but look for colleagues who share your approach–you’ll
experience a higher level of comfort and better communication with them.