Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

March 3, 2015

Only Idiots Don’t Play Politics.

The idea of playing politics gets a bad rap. Often you’ll hear people say “Oh, you’re just playing politics with that decision” in a context that usually means “You don’t really believe what you’re doing, but you’re doing it in order to avoid doing the right thing”.

The truth about success in business, sports, or any other venture is that it requires you to be an expert at navigating the people part of getting what you want — in other words, playing politics.

You can’t avoid playing politics.

Especially if you care about being successful.

If you’re not good at playing politics you’ll find yourself frustrated and angry because of how ineffective you are. Your good ideas don’t get listened to. Your good plans don’t get taken seriously. Your good intentions and hard work ethic never seem to get the attention they deserve.

Maybe it’s time for you to figure out how to play better politics. Here are a few helpful ideas to get you started:

  1. It’s okay to point the finger as long as you’re honest when it comes to pointing the finger back at yourself when appropriate.
  2. Someone else acting inappropriately isn’t a valid argument for why you shouldn’t get in trouble when you do the same.
  3. If those around you don’t know what you’re doing, their natural assumption is that you’re not doing anything at all.
  4. A little bit of respect and humility goes a long way in your relationships with other people.
  5. it’s no one else’s fault that you’re not as successful as you want to be, so stop taking your frustration out on them.
  6. Small details left unresolved always become the huge obstacles that eventually bring about your demise.
  7. Don’t give answers to questions that you don’t know the reason why they are being asked.
  8. If you’re not sure what your value is don’t expect to be satisfied by the compensation other people give you.
  9. Fewer meetings and more short, personal conversations are the secret to getting people to see it your way.
  10. How you say what you need to say is more important than what you actually say.

You need to master the game.

The truth about playing politics is that you don’t hate the game itself. You just don’t like when the game is played poorly.

You don’t like being lied to. You don’t like being talked down to. You don’t like not knowing where you stand.

So don’t be that guy who does that to others around you. Get better at playing the game.

Don’t let sloppy personal habits limit your ability to be amazing.

Be awesome.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.