The political dance can be a dance of politics but it doesn’t have to be.
I have seen it in business too. And in church – and everywhere else.
You know what I’m talking about…
You don’t simply ask for what you want or need, do you? You have to dance around it.
You ask them how their day is, talk about sports, discuss your backgrounds, find things in common, eat, maybe have a drink, and then – then – get to business.
But here is the thing.
People that have a particular personality or a particular seriousness to them have no time for such things. They may see them as time-wasting or unimportant or what have you.
But that’s only part of it.
The crux, I believe, is a power dynamic.
You play the political dance with people who have
more power than you (you need something from them).
You don't play the political dance with people who have
less power than you (you need nothing from them).
Understand: Persuasion is different than you think.
Another salesman flew down to SpaceX to sell the company on some technology infrastructure equipment. He was doing the standard relationship-building exercise practiced by salespeople for centuries. Show up. Speak for a while. Feel each other out. Then, start doing business down the road. Musk was having none of it. “The guy comes in, and Elon asks him why they’re meeting,” Spikes said. “He said, ‘To develop a relationship.’ Elon replied, ‘Okay. Nice to meet you,’ which basically meant, ‘Get the fuck out of my office.’ This guy had spent four hours traveling for what ended up as a two-minute meeting. Elon just has no tolerance for that kind of stuff.”
-Ashley Vance, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Amazon)