From the Fast Company archives: The Bad Guy's (And Gal's) Guide to Office Politics

This excerpt by Michael Warshaw comes from the April 1998 of Fast Company.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. That’s the message from Blaine Pardoe, author of Cubicle Warfare: Self-Defense Strategies for Today’s Hypercompetitive Workplace (Prima Publishing, 1997). Need a feel-bad antidote to our feel-good talk about the upside of office politics? Then look no further than this book.

“Politics is a necessary evil,” Pardoe says, “and often it’s just plain evil. Unfortunately, it’s also how things get done.” Pardoe, 35, is an unlikely candidate for such tough talk. He is director of technology-education services for Ernst & Young LLP, the giant consulting firm. During the day, he manages training programs for E&Y professionals. In his spare time, he writes science-fiction novels as well as other books. “Office politics is like wrestling with a pig,” Pardoe jokes. “You’re going to get dirty – and the pig likes it.” In an interview with Fast Company, Pardoe offered his five principles for dealing with the downside of office politics:

1. You can’t win unless someone else loses.
2. Just because you don’t get what you want doesn’t mean you’re getting the shaft.
3. Politics is about power – and power is measured in weird ways.
4. The past is prologue.
5. Don’t believe everything you hear.

To read more about these principles, click this link.