I've never met someone who actually likes politicians. Hell, I don't even think they like themselves half the time.
And yet, political skills are probably THE most important skills that anyone needs to achieve success -- however you define that "s" word.
That's because no one can do everything alone. We all need teamwork to achieve certain things in life. And politics, at its core, is simply the act of helping people work together.
(Now, whether the people in our political system define it that way is another story...but that doesn't change the definition.)
Here's the skinny. We need each other in order to do stuff. And if that's true, then we need to become experts at listening to each other's needs, satisfying multiple constituents, and compromising.
And even before that, we have to become masterful networkers, skilled in the art of being likable.
Because when people like us, they do stuff for us. And when they do stuff for us, we get ahead.
Sometimes we even have to appease people that generally suck. Or have bad morals. Or are simply dumb as a box of rocks.
And in those moments, we want to throw our hands up, decry the unfairness of it all, and hide away in front of our computers so we don't have to talk to any of those dum-dums out there.
But that's for hermit crabs and skittish meerkats. Not for leaders, entrepreneurs, or high-achievers.
So, the next time a client, colleague, friend, employee, classmate, aunt, or neighbor makes you want to walk away, make a decision. Either cut them out of your life, or suck it up, buttercup.
Because if you can get onto that higher level -- where you are purposely, masterfully politicking with people so they become your allies -- then you'll actually understand how this game of life is played.
And the game is the same whether you're on the 3rd-grade playground or the floor of the Senate, so you may as well start NOW.
We may hate it, but the simple fact of the matter is that, as long as we need other people, we need to become better politicians. For better...or worse.