Problems at Work 12: How Guerilla Tactics Can Backfire

voodoo colleaguesWe present another problem at work that can lose your job or stall your career

Christianity, Buddhism, and many other religions share a version of the golden rule: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” (Matthew 17:2 New Living Translation).

Some people, however, perceive that taking advantage of the naïveté of others remains fair game. Not only do they consider it fair, but smart tactics They accept guerilla warfare in the workplace as a necessity to get ahead.


Guerilla Tactics in the Workplace

Guerilla tactics have existed in the workplace since before Machiavelli instructed his prince. Someone always considers them legitimate strategy for preserving an advantage over others:

  • Do exactly what the job demands, but no more
  • Work at the slowest acceptable speed
  • Pile the paperwork on others to distract and slow them down
  • Start rumors, gossip, or falsehoods about someone’s work, performance, or loyalty
  • Sabotage someone’s projects, steal their ideas, or intercept important messages
  • See they don’t receive messages or invitations to important meetings
  • Criticize, demean, or ridicule a fellow worker when others cannot witness it

These and worse practices destroy morale and reduce productivity. Some people feel that get them before they get you represents wise advise. At times, promotions and plumb assignments confirm that dirty politics remains successful practices.

What Goes Around Comes  Around

I advocate the old fashioned approach of the Golden Rule. I believe in the old adage What Goes Around Comes Around. Eventually, you cannot sustain a career built on burying the others.

I share just a few examples:

  • A management team that cleaned out more than 60% of the existing field team, lose their own jobs in 2 years
  • A director who publicly embarrassed and falsely accused his predecessors was transferred, within 2 years, to a small outpost under the same condemnation
  • A manager whose stories highlighting him as the hero in every situation was disgraced when the truth of the stories revealed he took credit for other’s work

Monday will begin a series on tips to earn the biggest raises and the best promotions

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