Friday, January 13, 2006


There are variables to acheiving success that all too often get in the way a perfectly good opportunity.

Politics must be the number one offender in this regard. The thirst for power has been a human trait forever. As experienced business owners you'll come to recognize this element in deals you are trying to close when a mid-level proponent of your deal trys to "run it up the flap pole," as it were. Failure of top executives to recognize the value of your deal can be damaging to one's career and so politics and risk assessment enter into the picture and in many cases can kill the deal.

So here are some ways that I've found that may assist you in a turbulent political environment.

  • Understand the political dynamics as part of your research.
  • Realize that the org chart rarely presents an accurate picture of power within.
  • Talk to a lower positioned employee(s) if possible about inner-office dynamics.
  • Understand the corporate culture.
  • Be direct in asking questions behind closed doors once rapport is well established.
  • Always be aware of who wins and who can lose on the deal, which job is in jepoardy if you succeed.
  • Does the organization have the will to spend the budget and the will to follow through, have they completed past projects or experienced failures.
  • Remember that power can corrupt and you don't want to be a pawn in an internal power play, be careful with who you align with.
  • Do your homework, on the person, the team and the company.
  • Understand what your business associate on the client side is going through and aid them in telling a compelling story to top executives. Even top executives need assistance here with their board of directors and shareholders.

Be observant of the little details as they can become big details quickly. Keep your witts about you and remember there are hidden agendas, identify them if possible and act accordingly.

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