This Stupid Power Game

Are you frustrated about life in the office?

Ever think people are getting picked over you unfairly?

I finally found out the reason for this and I’ve spent the past few weeks observing it in real life.

It’s true for me and it’s probably going to be true for you.


Consider the following situations:

  • Supposedly a Specialist But Not a Technical Expert But Still Gets Promoted
  • Hardworking guy But Doesn’t Get Promoted
  • Excellent Project Manager But Doesn’t Get Great Reviews

What’s the problem here? What happened?

I observed several personal case studies that I have in real life and the reason this happens really does stand out. This happens often to a lot of people.

It has probably happened to you or someone you know. It probably happens to the majority of us.

But you know what? This is exactly the reason why the majority don’t make it up the corporate ladder.

I’ve been reading this interesting book called Power: Why Some Have It, Others Don’t and it tells me exactly why this happens.

Why do you stay stuck in one place while others (who seem less deserving) move forward?

It’s your fault.

You don’t play the game. And yes, it is a game.

And there are some rules to live by if you want to win it.

Okay, let’s go over the problems again:

1) How do you get promoted over the next person with a lot more expertise?

I know a lot of guys that are excellent programmers or are great at sales but for some reason, they’re stuck in one place. They probably have one or two flaws in them that stops their career but so do other people.

But often, I see people who are not so technically proficient getting promoted. I’m sure they’re not perfect either. What’s the difference?

2) Why is this jerk in your office getting promoted even when it seems like he’s not very good?

You probably have a person in your office that you don’t like but he seems to get great leadership opportunities. You and your friends think he’s a suck up but the bosses don’t seem to think so even if you have actual proof that he’s not a good leader. Maybe he doesn’t inspire his team, or he doesn’t develop his own people, or maybe he’s only out to save his own skin.

However, why does upper management still keep giving him the opportunity?

3) Why are you not getting great reviews?

You’ve had a project go live on time. No problems. You do this consistently. You know you’re better at it than other people. You can tell because other project managers are copying you! But your boss doesn’t think so. He thinks you’re a screw up.

Life feels so unfair at this point. What is wrong?!

The answers are simple but are difficult to swallow.

Trust me. It was painful for me to accept.

The Power book has some answers to that and apparently backed by science (well, not exactly science, but at least by statistical proof).

Ready to hear them?

Brace yourself.

1) You Get Promoted If Your Boss Loves You

It doesn’t matter how good at the job you are. There’s a study in that book that observed the movement of people who were hired by their boss compared to someone who was not.

Guess what, these people are going up.

Statistically, it seems that if your line manager loves you off the bat, you are more likely to get promoted than someone who the manager does not like.

2) You Have To Clearly State What You Want

You know why that jerk is getting promoted? Because he’s not shy about asking for it.

Simple as that.

You’d be surprised how many people don’t say they want to be promoted. Have YOU asked for it?

It may look like you’re sucking up to be asking for a promotion and trying to be liked by your boss. But as long as you actually appear genuine to the right person it doesn’t matter. You’ll be the one moving up in life.

3) If Your Boss Doesn’t Like You, You’re Always Going To Look Like a Failure

Similar to Point 1, your immediate boss is the only person you need to please. This is the person that is going to do your annual performance evaluation and this is the same person that will be recommending you to other leaders.

If your boss doesn’t think you’re good then you’re not. Change his or her opinion.

That’s it.

Simple isn’t it?

Now try it.

Start slow.

First observe what it’s like in your own workplace. Are these things happening?


Now do something about it. Put yourself in the position to move up in life.

What do you think? Will it work?

Featured Image from Flickr

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