25 Ways To Get Things Done In A Bureaucracy

on fire
Photo by Jesse Barker via Flickr

  1. Don’t make new things sound new.
  2. Acknowledge when others have made a good point. Incorporate feedback.
  3. Speak up when something seems “off.”
  4. Listen carefully when other people explain the culture to you.
  5. Be a uniter, not a divider.
  6. Don’t be a flashpoint for controversy intentionally.
  7. Dress as well as possible. Check yourself at 3 p.m.
  8. Get to know people as human beings not just job titles.
  9. Try to find out what’s really happening - don’t assume you know.
  10. Genuinely collaborate because it multiplies your influence.
  11. Settle for an 80% solution rather than nothing.
  12. Thank people constantly.
  13. Decide not to do some things. This is the painful meaning of strategy.
  14. Write things down before you forget.
  15. Find ways to make people’s life at work easier.
  16. Let your boss have the last word in an email.
  17. Don’t argue with people.
  18. Don’t get emotional in a “losing control” way - use emotion intentionally.
  19. Ask executives for their help. They enjoy this role.
  20. Don’t do things you hate and don't ask people to do things they hate doing.
  21. Ask people about what’s going on in their lives.
  22. When someone is upset, ask them about it.
  23. Help others reach their professional goals.
  24. Be consistent.
  25. Follow up.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, www.AllThingsBrand.com and www.DannielleBlumenthal.com, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.