Office Politics and Survivor on T.V.

No one survives and thrives on their own.

Think of office politics as alliance-building. But avoid unethical office politics.

Rob Jolles explains that it’s one thing to get a job. It’s another thing to survive and thrive in organizational life. (Why People Don’t Believe You …)

Commit to alliance-building:

Jolles says It takes soft-skills to thrive in organizational life. People lose jobs because they lack soft-skills.

Soft-skills are the new hard-skills.

Success over the long-term requires alliances. Anyone who wins on the T.V. show Survivor does it because of alliances.

Doug Conant, retired CEO of Campbell’s Soup, was a head’s down – do your work – type of guy. After losing a job, he became an introvert who could network. Eventually his network helped him with his decision to go to Campbell’s Soup.

Success is about what you do AND the relationships you build. Jolles offers three suggestions.

#1. Don’t avoid alliances, build them.

“Typically, those who duck alliances are seen as aloof and not team players.” Jolles

Realize there’s a difference between friends and alliances. They may be the same, but not always.

#2. Choose alliances wisely.

You’re known and judged by your alliances.

Jolles suggests that when you align with someone who doesn’t fit, you may be the next person voted off the island – out of the organization.

#3. Remain loyal to your alliances.

“When others put their faith in you, like it or not, they expect you to understand the politics of your position and behave accordingly.” Jolles


  • Don’t sacrifice ethics and values.
  • Stay true to your carefully chosen alliances.
  • Reject the need to always be right.

Rob Jolles on Survivor and office politics (2:36):

What does ethical office politics mean to you?