Workplace politics: Please don't touch that dial.

Tom Kamaliki | 7th July 2020

Workplace politics: Please don't touch that dial.

Workplace politics: Please don't touch that dial.

Tom Kamaliki | 7th July 2020


As ‘every market has its own madman’’ as the saying goes, so is every organization with their own kitchen cabinets- people who make decisions that the CEO’s pretend they (decisions) are theirs.  I thank God due to my professionalism, I have never belonged to such ‘workplace professional criminal gangs’.   I do not know why you accepted to join this wicked ‘golf club’-  a club of the untouchables who, even if they commit serious offenses worth dismissal, they still walk scot-free along the corridors of power. They are also awarded hefty salaries with other privileges for their sycophancy. 


We need to be ashamed of ourselves for playing such a role in somewhat ’Incredible Hulk’ movie. However, what I know, your time has come. It is only a matter of seconds. That boss who is shielding you now will never always be there. A new boss is soon coming, or a new dispensation is soon knocking. I am reminded in Exodus 1:8 that ‘There arose a pharaoh who did not know Joseph………………’ Read the story if you are interested to know what happened next.


A close friend shared with me. That at one point he joined a certain organization and as time went by, he began to discover who-was-who and who-was-where. As usual, you will win a few friends during the initial stages at the workplace who will share with you the inside of the new organization.  It did not take him long to discover the few people who mattered, and even one of them mattered most compared to the rest- always interacting with the boss; always going for lunch together and walking to each other’s office until the day ends. For one to earn the boss’ favor, the avenue to follow was almost a policy in the manual. Otherwise, you were to be careful not to touch that dial.  This reminded me of French and Raven’s 1959 Bases of Power. Please read about them to know where such people derive their power and authority. These people laugh and joke with you while holding a ‘knife ‘ready to stab your back immediately your part. They like gossiping.


Negative workplace politics impacts negatively on organizational performance. Those who use their wicked means to win the favor of the senior-most at the expense of the rest apply manipulation strategy, threats, falsehood, and frustrations as a way of exercising their powers and authority. Organizations have ended up losing top professionals who resigned just to keep off from such bad politics. On the other side, the senior-most has been duped into wrongfully disciplining innocent high performing employees through bad influence from members of the ‘Wicked workplace Golf Club’. Such organizations have ended up being ghosts of their former selves due to the bad image and reputation they have in the market. No serious professional can associate with such organizations. The rate of turn-over is just abnormal.


Boss, this is my free dose for you to be taking 500mg daily for the next 12 months and you will see how it will re-brand your organization, attract and retain talent:

  • Promote communication and transparency among all teams as opposed to operating silos
  • Don't tolerate political behavior. Everyone's success should be measured, first and foremost, by the overall company objectives
  • Demand accountability from all team members. Stop favoring sycophants belonging to silos
  • Make everybody your friend. You are the CEO, and being a CEO, you are a parent to all.
  • Reward everybody objectively. Avoid bias by rewarding sycophants From the silos

The writer is an HR Generalist at Director Level with Consulting skills with having over 10 years in Senior Management.

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