After Hours

Know your foes in office politics

I blogged recently about a company that conducted, along with IBM, a study that showed that online gamers develop leadership qualities—specifically strategic strengths—from the games they play.Online games aren't the only source of strategy education. The Art of War, the Chinese military treatise written by Sun Tzu in the 6th century B.C. (and praised as being the definitive guide to military strategy) has undergone a resurgence of late as it applies to business and managerial strategies.

I happened to be on the site BNET.com recently when I saw that one of their feature packages was how to excel at office politics. One of the parts of this feature was a "field guide" to the 10 most common political personality types most of us have to deal with in the workplace. Pretty funny stuff but I think that those types might differ a bit in the IT world. Here's an example from the ones BNET is running:

The MBA Characteristics: Speaks in acronyms and 50 cent words, backs up every statement with a tidbit gleaned from "The Journal." Sends daily status e-mails about every project. Quote: "Let's repurpose our I.M.N.A.S.S process to maximize our integrated solutions."

My challenge to you is to help me put together one for the personalities IT folks have to deal with. I'll go first.

The Marketing Guy Characteristics: Lives for three little words: search engine optimization. Would sell his own child for "Google love." Quote: After you rant for nearly an hour about how many hours and personnel it would take to make a web site "tweak" he wants, he smiles in a Stepford-ish way and says, "OK, well, let me know when it's done."

Got any office personality types to add?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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