Sunday, August 22, 2010

"The Power Grid" - An EDI Leadership Navigation session

Federal Way, Wa - At the Weyerhauser Headquarters last friday, Executive Development Institute (EDI)Leadership Navigation program participants met for its 7th session entitled Gamesmanship: Knowing Your Field of Play and How to Create Wins and learn from executive mentors on organizational politics. (Note: the Leadership navigation program is for mid- to senior level professionals having displayed managerial, entrepreneurial and leadership skills.)

I had the privilege of sitting in and taking part in the discussions.  The session's distinguished executive mentors included George S Kikuchi (US Postal Service Executive, retired); John Okamoto (Executive Director, Washington Education Association); Jenette Ramos (Director, Business Operations, Fabrication; Boeing Commercial Airplanes); and Marvin (Ray) Risco (Vice President of International Operations at Weyerhauser).

What I learned was that organizational politics are as old as the history of business. This session looked at the role of power and politics within organizations.

I widened my awareness, gained a better understanding and tools needed to be able to assess the relevant “rules of the Game” and developed effective strategies and skills to succeed in any organization. More importantly, I wanted to be a much more skillful player.  For example, George mentioned to gain power yourself, you need to start with yourself, expand your circle of influence, and be aware when power is granted to you because identifying the invisible power grid underlying the field of organizational dynamics allows us to appreciate what’s really happening versus what we hear or see taking place. Knowing this gave me, I think, a significant strategic advantage in being able to influence decisions, move projects along and close critical deals.

I want to thank EDI's Executive Director, Starr MacDonald and session facilitator, Colleen Yamaguchi for granting me this privilege. Thanks!

Gil Gido
NAAAP Seattle

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