Surviving Work Politics

“When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.” ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭18:6-11‬ ‭

Hello and glad to come your way. I have been looking at the definition of work place politics and I think this is the best out of all by slideshare.net, and it quotes, “Workplace politics is the use of power and networking within an organization to achieve personal benefits.”

Our scripture reading for today captures the heart of that message. Before we get into the meat of our topic, you have to understand firstly that politics is everywhere- it doesn’t only pertain to electing government officials. Secondly, you have to understand politics very well, else you will be a victim. Thirdly, politics has to deal with people and power, so you will have to study the nature of humans too very well.

Politics has many branches, but for the purpose of this blog I will restrict it to work. When you read the Bible story, it talks about David coming home from battle to the cheers of women singing his praises. This didn’t sit well with Saul because in the chorus of the song, Saul was just ascribed thousands to David’s ten thousands. The nature of King Saul and David’s relationship turned political from that day.

Anytime, you excel at an assignment in your workplace, be on the lookout for politics. It is just a hard, cold truth. Excellence at something rears the ugly head of politics in people. Understand that the workplace is not like your home where perhaps love, care and nurture were the abiding principles. This is different- it is a concrete jungle where competition, performance appraisal, promotion, pay increases etc are the order of the day. Work is an environment where jostling for power is prevalent.

From this story, there are some noteworthy points I picked up.

1. Don’t be surprised at jealousy– when your praises are sang or say, you are promoted in the workplace, don’t be surprised at people you once had vibes with now give you the cold shoulder. As painful as it is, you can’t spend time crying at this or quit and look for another job. Friend, do you think it will get better in another workplace? I am here to disappoint you with my answer, IT WILL NOT! It is the same everywhere. King Saul became jealous of David when he was crowned the people’s champion.

2. Workplace is territorial, expect a fight– you were new to the job and the supervisor who even became your lunch mate, showed you the ropes till you ascended to the same position as him. Now, you are confused as to why he doesn’t like you anymore. You have invaded his territory and expect a pushback. In Saul’s mind, David could be a king so he had to protect his territory hence his jealousy. I have come to know by experience that ideals such as teamwork and collaboration are only preached, but not TRULY practiced and believed. No wonder, it is only an ideal but not a realism.

3. You could be eliminated, eyes open!– the jealousy of Saul caused him to throw a spear at him. The intent was to eliminate him. In the workplace, you can be eliminated by rough tactics. In some cases, people have even gone as far as murder. This is where the studying of people comes in. Don’t be naive because subtlety is real. Some will not exhibit Saul’s jealousy, but they will smile towards you thinking otherwise. You have to be vigilant to survive and also thrive irrespective of the odds stacked against you.

I will end on this: you can’t eliminate work politics. It has come to stay and it is part of the fabric and culture of work. The only thing you can do is, learning to survive it. That is something colleges will never teach you.

I wish you a strong finish to this month and a blessed upcoming new month.

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Till, we meet again…

Peace & Love.


Four Little Things IV

Hello! Hope you had a great weekend? Today, we will wrap up on this topic by looking at one more little thing.

We have been gleaning wisdom from unconventional places by observing.

Over the the past three weeks, we have been informed through Proverbs 30:24-27 that:

The ant is a symbol of industry.

The rock badger is a symbol of borrowed strength.

The locust is a symbol of teamwork.

Let us look at our text again for today’s lesson.

“The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.” Proverbs‬ ‭30:28‬

The Hebrew rendering of this text suggests lizard- in fact a gecko, but it is not conclusive. Although, when you look at other versions of this text, the word lizard is used. The description there is not consistent with that, because the gecko doesn’t really use its hands.

So from this passage, what I personally observed from the spider is skill. That word jumped at me. Everybody is born with talent, but not all have skill. When talent is fine tuned and goes through a refining process, it is called skill.

The take home from the spider is, its skill of spinning webs or cobwebs lands him in places like a king’s palace. You will never go to places of prominence with talent.

As annoying a cobweb can be, appreciate the skill of a spider. So with this, let us learn a few on skill.

1. Talent makes you mediocre at best– talent can be overrated. Everyone has it! Talent at times is like crude oil. You can’t do much with it, though its price value on the market is high because of potential. Talent speaks of potential. You may have great prospects of “making it”, but you won’t quite get there. If we function on raw talent, we won’t have the best results.

2. Skill speaks of consistency and diligence– you don’t become skillful by dreaming or wishing. It comes through honing in your craft and that takes a lot of work- something you are prepared to do over a period of time. Developing a skill means you have to be married to a routine. In the world of sports, the difference between a superstar and a regular player is skill. A superstar has paid the price through hard work in developing raw talent.

3. Skill will take you places– the spider’s annoying craft has taken it to a place of prominence in the king’s palace. Sometimes, it is not so much about the craft, but how well you excel at the craft that will speak volumes. If it speaks volumes, it will then takes you places.

I pray to God, we will all work on our skill to be polished for the benefit of service to humanity. It has a price though, but may the spider’s inspiration spur us on. We can’t be of quality service with just talent.

Thank you all for following along over the past month. I appreciate every feedback I have received. It has greatly encouraged me and added more fuel to the fire to keep getting better. Thanks again!

Please like, share or comment on today’s post. Subscribe to this blog too, if you haven’t.

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love


Four Small Things III

Hello and a good day to you all! We are continuing on finding wisdom from unconventional places hence our series, four small things.

The text we are using in Proverbs instructs us to go beyond the face value of an ant, a hyrax and learn from them. So far, we have seen the ant as a symbol of industry. And then, the hyrax, that of borrowed strength.

Before we focus on the third, let us look at our foundational text.

“The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks;” Proverbs‬ ‭30:27‬ ‭

The third small thing today is the locust. Known to be very destructive in nature. The mention of the name locust in the Bible evokes terror. This is the first time something praiseworthy has been noted.

They don’t have a king meaning, they have no kind of appointed leadership or structure, yet advance in ranks.

The lesson gleaned is teamwork. But before that, I also observed other things.

1. The ability to work unsupervised– they have no leader, but stuff gets done. In this world where there is a leadership void, chaos is present. The locust rewrites that story that “I may be in a disadvantage, but I advance…” We should all come to that sense of self governance. The locust teaches us that inspiration can also be inward as outer. As you start this work week, be determined to finish your break on time without your supervisor coming to tell you- that is the wisdom of a locust.

2. They embrace the odds, yet advance– they don’t run from the challenge that they have no king or system of governance. They advance irrespective of that. Who learns from a locust? Their destructive reputation precedes them, yet they advance. The locust rewrites their story despite these odds. I pray you are encouraged to fight any odds this week to rewrite your story.

3. They believe in collaboration– that is the main takeaway. They believe in teamwork. “Teamwork makes the dream work” is their mantra. Bruce Waltke, a professor wrote this on the teamwork of locusts, “They are well known for their amazing ability to form gigantic swarms that can wreak devastation of a scale almost beyond imagination. Highly reliable eyewitness accounts of modern locust plagues border on the incredible.” No matter how gifted you are, believing in the essence of a team will not dim your light, but brighten it.

I am shocked to know there is a wealth of wisdom in a pest like a locust. We will not just learn, but apply them.

God bless our week and may we be fruitful.

Thanks for reading.

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love


Four Small Things II

“Rock badgers—they aren’t powerful, but they make their homes among the rocky cliffs.” Proverbs 30 : 26

Hello and blessed to come your way again! Last week, we started a journey on some unusual creatures who have been made the epitome of wisdom in our deliberation. We looked at the ant.

Today, we want to focus on the rock badgers or hyrax as they are called. Pay particular attention to how their weakness is first spotted- they actually have no speed or strength rendering them powerless against large predators with sharp teeth such as leopards, servals and caracals.

But the Bible admonishes us to glean some wisdom from a weak animal as that- they make their homes among the rocks.

Two things stand out from this to me:

I. They make the strength of the rock their own strength.

II. They find refuge among the strong.

The lesson driven home to me is borrowed strength. It takes humility to practice that principle, knowing you are not “all that” and you are handicapped in one way or another. Unfortunately, some believe their own hype too much not wanting to concede to that truth.

It will take being realistic to honestly assess yourself in your areas of strength and weakness; where you have great expertise and where you are totally inept. The hyrax has no problem admitting, it doesn’t have the speed of a rabbit or the strength of an elephant. It rather focuses on ‘networking’. That is, being among others to find inspiration in the things that you lack.

Another striking point is, they don’t easily expose themselves knowing their limitations. Most times, it is not wisdom to tell people what you are weak at or lacking. You can, but be very discerning with the company you are vulnerable to. The hyrax rarely ventures in the open knowing it could be a meal for another. It is why they are a scarce breed. They spend most of their time among the refuge of the rocks. That is their safe haven.

Which brings me to my last observation- who inspires you? Who has your ears, time, energy and attention? The badger’s inspiration is the rock hence the name rock badgers. What you pay attention to, what you invest in, you suddenly become!

It is okay to have shortfalls or weaknesses, but it is not okay to be a prey. The hyrax today serves as our lesson that instead of lamenting over our weaknesses, we can practice the concept of borrowed strength for our survival. Go to the hyrax and learn!

Thank you all for reading and also for helping bring traffic to this site. I truly appreciate it and I am humbled!

I will like to read your feedback on this. Like and share today’s post too.

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Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love.


Four Small Things I

Hello and glad to write again! Hope you have had a good weekend and also a good past month? All too soon, another month dawns on us. Today and in the subsequent weeks ahead, I want us to look at a striking passage in the Bible about some four unusual folks that will teach us a great deal of lesson from a chapter in Proverbs.

The key word in the book of Proverbs is wisdom, “the ability to live life skillfully”. King Solomon, the principal author, uses a combination of poetry, parables, pithy questions, short stories, and wise maxims to teach on common sense and a divine perspective necessary to handle life’s issues.

The scripture at hand is in Proverbs 30:24-28. We will take the first two verses to focus on the first point of our lesson.

“24There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: 25The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer;” Proverbs‬ ‭30:24-25‬ ‭

Inspiration can be quite common if you are observant. It can be interesting at times the places where wisdom can be gleaned from. Though unconventional, yet lies in a message that cannot be denied.

The ants are the first. Who learns from the ant? Yet this book forces us to pay close attention to its way. Ants are generally seen as very small, little things wandering around. Personally, I consider them a nuisance. Food crumbs are a great way of invitation to them. Despite their weakly exterior and their annoying reputation, we are advised to look at a teachable moment: prepare their food in summer.

The lesson I get from the ant is industry. They are productive by virtue of work. Few points to take home here.

1. They are mindful of seasons– summer is for work and winter is for gathering all that work. Ants have a good sense of timing and are wise with their time. They work when they have to, and rest at the appropriate time. Since they are aware of the seasons, they can’t afford to procrastinate. Time is of the essence, so we have to do what we have to do… in time.

2. Hard-work overcomes individual weakness– their weakness lies in them not strong. Their industry outshines that flaw. Everyone has a weakness or a bad habit we are all not proud of. Sometimes, the best way to deal with that is just to focus and emphasize on your strengths. We all have strengths. Maybe in this season will be a good time to discover yours and hone it to maximize yourself.

3. Preparation is key to industry– I couldn’t help but notice the word “prepare”. Nobody becomes productive on a whim, it comes through deliberate and a calculated process. I heard this popular saying, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Zeal and enthusiasm are not enough to kick things rolling. Most at times, a plan in place does- it speaks of preparation. You can see people with a fireball of energy and passion tackle an assignment only to lose steam half way because a plan was not in place to keep the momentum going.

Thank God for the ant- it makes me see creation has indeed a place and a purpose in the existence of this world. You know what; careful observation perhaps may reveal the underlying purpose of most things we despise.

May God make us wise people and also have the ability to search for wisdom from ‘unusual places’.

Please like, share and comment on today’s post. Subscribe to this blog too if you haven’t.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love.