Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me.

We've all heard about the Ides of March – the day when Julius Caesar was assassinated. It's also become synonymous with treachery and backstabbing.

This Saturday, 15th March, is the Ides of March. In Roman times an Ide was simply a day that marked a full moon.  It seems that the day had no association with danger – it was Shakespeare who created the conceit of a soothsayer warning Caesar to be on his guard.

Caesar was murdered because he kept amassing power, eventually gaining the title 'dictator in perpetuity'.  Since Rome was supposed to be a republic, senators were worried that Caesar was going to end up an all-powerful monarch.

Do you see parallels in your workplace? The Ides of March can be a quick reminder of the cut and thrust of office life.

While office politics may indulge in backstabbing, thankfully it's only the figurative kind.  But how should you handle power plays at work?  Well, Harvard Business Review has a discussion with experts on issues such as someone undermining you, or handling the resentment of colleagues.

Psychologist Oliver James also offers refreshing advice for budding Caesars: 'I am mounting a one-man campaign to cleanse the words 'office politics' of their taint as cheating, devious, amoral behaviour. Rather, I want everyone to realise that they are a crucial component of emotional health. Resources are finite, there are only so many good jobs, pots for bonuses are limited. It is completely healthy to use wheezes to advance your interests.'

What kind of office politician would you be? Are you all about crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you, or would you rather be the power behind the throne?


(17 March 2014)
nice piece of history there
(26 March 2014)
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