If your mission is to get work done through and with others across your organization, you need to develop and apply influence.

In this article, I share ideas and approaches you can use to engage and succeed in your organization’s political environment without compromising your values. These “clean power” approaches are potentially powerful for leading and effecting change in many settings. However, they take a deliberate focus and ample effort.

First, a few facts of organizational life
There’s no escaping organizational or workplace politics. In every setting where humans gather in pursuit of shared objectives, a political environment emerges. Whether you’re striving to effect change in your local school’s parent-teacher organization or a global business, there’s a political environment where some individuals wield a disproportionate amount of decision-making authority. Effectively, they bring resources to opportunities and choose others for more responsibility.

That’s workplace power. The challenge for everyone else is how to either cultivate power organically or to tap into decision-makers’ power. In my experience, the answer is that you need to do both at the same time to increase your voice and vote.

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