What is my best option for handling a political nemesis: using Option Solving?

A particular executive found herself under pressure from another group leader with the likely intent of wanting to take her position. Despite good results within her group, her political sensitivity hadn’t been quite as strong as it should be, consequently political gaffes here and there created openings for others to feel they could handle her job better. So now she was left to figure out what approach she should take going forward.

Once the option solving approach was explained to her, she decided to get involved and developed an initial question as follows: “What is my best option for handling a political nemesis; considering 1) my team is doing pretty well, 2) I have good retirement options, 3) my boss appears to still want me around, and 4) my nemesis wants my position?” You will notice there are four considerations to provide perspective to the question. Even though there were probably others, she kept it to the most important ones so as not to overly complicate her decision task.

Now she turned to creating two yin and yang “bookends,” which would serve as her extreme possibilities. Such bookends would then help focus her intuitive faculties toward her most realistic options. Bookends like these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus.

Her yin and yang bookends that surfaced were: “Just ignore the whole situation” and “Make a deal with my nemesis,” both of which seemed the least likely possibilities: but at least they would challenge her to think through her most realistic possibilities – see our Latest Worked Example.

From here she was encouraged to develop at least five realistic options, so as to stretch her range of possibilities. You will see where she, in fact, produced six realistic options for her to consider before turning to emotional distancing. Feel free to review her potential six in our Latest Example, one of which was: “Option-B: Insert key team member between myself and nemesis.”

With the “pictogram” she had now created, she would now set it aside for some time while she pursued some emotional distancing before making her choice. Emotional distancing would allow her intuitive mind to sub-consciously review this range of options against so many of her similar life experiences and choices; thereby seeking an optimal solution. What option would you have chosen?

Within 24 hours, maybe an hour or two, she would revisit her pictogram and, after a few moments, make her intuitive choice. She would be wise not to second-guess herself, since by doing so she would likely over-rule her best instincts and make a poor choice. In other words, despite any potential misgivings, stick with your choice and work it through into a doable action initiative. Stick with your initiative and, apart from some departure points along the way, where new option solving gambits could be pursued, you are most likely to come away with optimum (not perfect) success.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “What is my best option for keeping my boss on board?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)


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