Small technology startups are generally fairly pure meritocracies – the people who do well are those who are good at their work. As companies get bigger, the “political” aspects of organizations start taking effect. In particular, it (usually) becomes possible to advance and become powerful within the organization without actually being very good at what you do. Those “political” skills can serve a person just as well – or even better – than actually being good at your job. Some people thrive in such an environment. I do not.
My friend is just starting to learn what this means. He sent me an email yesterday describing a situation that occurred at work, and made some astute observations about exactly what happened – and he's projected the political maneuverings forward and realized he's about to have others take credit for the good work that he's done. Most people, including him, really hate having other steal the credit for good work they've done.
At the end of his email, my friend said this:
I can only imagine such politics must happen all the time. It is a crafty and despicable art.It's sad when innocence is lost – but it's a valuable life lesson. I think my friend will be just fine...