1. Hire smart. When interviewing leaders for a position in your company, present a couple of cultural dilemmas from previous management jobs and ask how they handled them. Their responses will determine whether the candidate is a good “fit” for your company, while gauging the likelihood of participation in office politics.
2. Become fluent in leading a positive office culture. Most companies have written value statements as well as unwritten rules that define the culture of the company. Leading a cultural shift involves many factors, educating your leadership team in how to do this is a first step.
3. Build networks and amplifiers. Create a coalition of powerful influencers and experts on the company’s culture. Promote loyalty among your own managers and teams with positive reinforcement and enough transparency to establish a level of trust.
4. Keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t let your managers or employees get distracted by office politics. Do not allow colleagues to undermine your leaders’ efforts. Publicly align your strategic goals with incentives and publicly celebrate each goal achieved.
5. Tell your frontline managers not to take resistance to change personally. When there is pushback on a new initiative, keep the focus on what’s good for the company.
6. Use the power of one-on-one meetings to resolve conflict. For instance, if a colleague insists on undermining you or your projects over email or at a board meeting, do not defend your position via a “reply all” rebuttal. Instead, meet privately and request that he or she provide input directly to you using a private channel. Create an atmosphere of collaboration and recognize their contributions to your project.
7. Prevent office gossip from taking control. This is a whole separate topic that warrants its own blog post. You can read about it here.
Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. provides Executive Coaching and Human Resources solutions. Her mission is to make the executive experience exceptionally enjoyable and effective. She believes that the world needs great leaders, and has dedicated her career to helping them.
As an organization psychologist and former corporate CEO, Dr. Nadine understands the pressures and demands executives face. She offers her clients the high expertise that only comes with three decades of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Nadine is an in-demand speaker, teaches in doctoral programs, and coaches other consultants. She is the author of two books: ‘The Art of Executive Coaching: Secrets to Unlock Leadership Performance’, and of ‘Stress-less Leadership: How to Lead in Business and in Life’. amazon.com/author/nadinegreiner
Contact Information: Feel free to email Dr. Nadine San Francisco Executive Coaching at