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IDEA LAB

Don't Like Office Politics? Too Bad. You Can't Lead Without It

Sam Bacharach, co-founder of Bacharach Leadership Group, explains why politics and entrepreneurship cannot be separated.
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Sam Bacharach, co-founder of leadership development organization Bacharach Leadership Group, has no patience for entrepreneurs who think "politics" is a dirty word. 

While some business owners may try to keep politics out of their companies, no entrepreneur can be successful without certain political skills, according to Bacharach. 

"I’m always reminded of the executive who told me that he doesn’t do politics," Bacharach said during a conversation for Inc.com's Idea Lab with Alexa von Tobel, founder of financial planning company LearnVest. "My reaction in that instance is, 'Then you shouldn’t lead.'" 

While plenty of entrepreneurs have great ideas, many lack the skills needed to move their ideas forward to implementation, he says.

"That requires these micro-political skills, and I think those types of things can be taught."

So what's an example of an important political skill that entrepreneurs need to learn?  

"Often we think of the great idea we have, but we don’t put ourselves in the shoes of the other [person] and say to ourselves, 'What are the six or seven things that they’re going to say about our ideas?'" Bacharach says.

Anticipating the obstacles your idea might face when you present it, he says, is a political skill that can help you get across the finish line.

"There are only [so many] arguments that people can make against any idea," he says. "Do you know what those arguments really are?"

To hear more about the political skills every entrepreneur needs, watch the video below.

3 Steps for Becoming a Better Leader

LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel and Samuel Bacharach, co-founder of Bacharach Leadership Group, demystify the essential skills of leaders and reveal how to instill them in yourself and your employees.

 
Last updated: Aug 27, 2014

GRAHAM WINFREY

Graham Winfrey is a staff writer for Inc.com. He previously covered alternative investments at Private Equity International magazine, prior to which he worked at Business Insider and MSNBC.com. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.




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