Why you should not play the power game at work

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Why the power game doesn't work

Climbing the corporate ladder is often the ultimate goal, but at Jam Management Consultancy, we know the temptation of office politics often leads to a dead end, a toxic work environment and ultimately more problems.

The constant war for position and power creates a toxic culture that stifles creativity, collaboration, and ultimately, success. Power plays create a tense and distrustful atmosphere, burn bridges with colleagues, and lead to short-term wins with long-term consequences. Here’s why you should stop the power game and focus on building something more sustainable:

Invest in your leadership potential

Instead of using power and status, invest in yourself and your leadership skills. Investing in yourself and your leadership skills builds a foundation of respect and trust. By honing your communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, you become a valuable asset to any team.

The benefits don’t align with their needs

Skill up: Become an expert by taking courses, seeking mentorship, and volunteering for challenging projects. Strong skills are a far more sustainable source of power than office politics.

Be a team player: Success rarely happens when working solo. Inspire and motivate others within the team and the wider organisation. Collaborative wins are far more impressive than solo victories.

Build trust and respect: Be honest, reliable, and empathetic. People who trust you will want to work with you and see you succeed.


Fostering a positive work environment is crucial for a company’s success. It boosts employee morale, leading to increased productivity and creativity. Happy employees are more engaged, taking ownership of their work and striving for excellence. This positive atmosphere also reduces stress and fosters better communication, allowing for stronger collaboration and problem-solving.

A positive work environment creates a win-win situation for both employers and employees. Here are some tips for navigating their games:

Don’t get sucked in: Recognise the tactics for what they are and stay calm, professional, and focused on the task at hand.

Document everything: Keep a record of important conversations, emails, and decisions, especially if you suspect someone is trying to take credit for your work.

Build alliances: Strength lies in numbers. Find colleagues who share your values and work ethic to create a positive and productive work environment.

Seek support: Don’t hesitate to talk to a trusted mentor or HR representative if the power games become overwhelming.

Building a Positive Work Environment

Here’s how to combat power plays and help build a better work environment that enables everyone to thrive:

Focus on collaboration: Promote teamwork and shared goals. When everyone wins, there’s less incentive for power struggles.

Open communication: Encourage open and honest communication. When colleagues trust each other, there’s less room for manipulation.

Highlight team successes: Celebrate collaborative wins and give credit where credit is due. This reinforces the value of teamwork and discourages individual power grabs.

Set clear expectations: Ensure everyone understands their roles, responsibilities, and reporting structures. This eliminates confusion and reduces opportunities for manipulation.

At Jam Management Consultancy, we believe in building careers on a foundation of genuine talent and leadership. If you’re looking for a company that values collaboration and growth, get in touch! We can help you find a work environment where you can thrive based on your skills and contributions, not your ability to play the game.

Let’s work together to build a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to do their best work!


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