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Preparing for Leadership by Deborah Dennis Meola, Donna J. Dennis

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5

How to Handle Organizational Politics

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.

—Plato

The definition of leadership suggests that the leader go beyond self-interest and think of what's best for the group or organization. Politics, on the other hand, is often thought of as doing things for personal gain. Politics is another word, like power, that almost always has negative connotations. How does politics fit into a definition of leadership that suggests the leader goes beyond self-interest? Is the word politics associated with negative behavior? What words come to mind? Write down several things:

Politics is viewed in a negative light by many leaders. Words like

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