Power Play: Know who’s really running the place

Power Play: Know who’s really running the place

Power Players know that the real power in every company lies with the people who keep it running behind the scenes, and the first thing they do is seek these people out. Why? Because they are gold.

I’m talking about the personal assistants who ruthlessly control access to their bosses, the receptionists who work the front desk of any business, and the dispatch team and office managers who really make stuff happen.

True influencers understand that these people (supposedly low on the totem pole) hold the key to power, yet they are often treated badly by the so-called ‘important’ people – a big mistake. Just try teaching yourself how to use the binding machines when you’re under pressure from a big deadline.

Find out who does the real work and cosy up.

The story

The last CEO I worked for used to bypass the fancy white-tablecloth lunches with the big wigs and instead take the dispatch guys (average age: 19) to the local all-you-can-eat place, and this was a company with 3000 employees and a pretty significant hierarchical distance between the CEO and the dispatch kids.

These quarterly lunches reaffirmed the idea that the best way of finding out exactly what’s happening is to talk to the people in the trenches.

It’s a great story that should happen more often.

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