Never wrestle a pig

The higher up you go, the more time you spend navigating relationships and politics.

Politics is about improving someone's status or increasing their power within an organisation.

The most successful managers are there for the organisation, not themselves. This is why the not-for-profit sector is so attractive for so many.

Australia’s NFP sector is the third biggest in the world, making up 8.5% of the jobs in Australia (John Hopkins University). It's roughly equivalent in size to our retail sector, or education, or the public sector (Deloitte Economics).

Despite all the "goodness" that abounds, every now and then, you'll come across someone whom you don't trust and don't agree with. The person is not there for the organisation but fighting for turf, status, promotion etc.

Trouble is if you pick a fight with a pig, you'll both get dirty, but the pig loves it.

Rather, try these tips:

  • Be clear on what you are trying to achieve with the other person. If you are not clear, how can they be?

  • Understand what they are trying to achieve. If you know their situation, you can better align your efforts. If you are not aligned, you'll know why.

  • Own up, if your behaviour has partly contributed to the situation. What have you done or said that may have contributed to the situation? Owning up is not admitting to failure.

  • Articulate what you are planning to do next. Share what you will do next.

  • Try to find some common ground and if you can't, then admit it. Sometimes it's just not possible to work together. If your wants are not aligned, you both want different things.

We hope you found these tips useful. Oink.