Do you and your boss have enough political capital?

September 12, 2011

You hear about “political capital” almost every night on the news. You only wish Washington D.C.’s movers and shakers could pay down the national debt with this type of capital. Sadly, it seems to do the opposite—add to our debt by clearing red tape and authorizing more spending.

“Political capital” exists within all types of organizations. When you have it, everything seems and is possible. But if you lose it or never had it to begin with, you may be hamstrung for a long, long time. I had a client whose boss said, “No” to every request. My client’s boss had exhausted his own political capital and no longer had any sway in the organization. He got tired of hearing “No,” too. As soon as my client’s boss left his position, my client found his business areas bloom again. The new boss rained resources because of the political capital he had in the organization.

If you work for someone who does not have much political capital, it may be time to change positions or companies. Otherwise you may be waiting a long time for the rain to come.

I’d love to hear your stories of political capital. What have you done to lose, gain, or restore it?

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