Deep inside you, do you have a small voice that says, I won’t play their games? Do you hold a belief that due to your strong moral compass and your personal integrity you won’t engage in something that you are calling “games” or “manoeuvring”? Is this limiting your career achievements?
As leaders, we heard this often when helping team-mates with their personal development plans. Inevitably, someone might have received feedback that they had “big ideas but didn’t know how to get them implemented” or, that they were “kinda blunt” or, ”you’re three steps ahead of the rest of us”. Gently, we would begin to unpack what this might mean and how to use it to motivate a personal pivot point.
But now it’s our turn to be blunt. That “game playing” that you won’t engage in, there’s no such thing. There is only ONE THING, as Prince said, it’s called LIFE. And not playing means you’re not living. Really.
We are all worker bees in the hive of life. There maybe a Queen Bee, who knows, but unless you’re the queen bee, you’re a worker bee and you have to rub along side with all the others.
Here’s one thing you can try, today, building on our book Coaching on the Go:
- Take any animal metaphor that strikes you as interesting;
- Consider how the animals within that group rub along together - e.g. mutual grooming of chimps; or the dance of the honey bee; or the female lions who hunt for the entire pride;
- Overlay this metaphor on your organisation and consider, not what games are being played, but how the organism is organising. How does it all hang together peaceably and as a unit?
- Now consider what mutual grooming or dancing you might choose to embark on.
Your alternative, unless you’re in a position to change the whole organisation, is to go join another one and hope that game is more to your liking!