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101: Navigating Office Politics with Dr. Marilyn Puder-York, Executive & Leadership Coach

Marilyn Puder-York-bio-pic

This episode is part of a series of interviews I’m conducting to focus on career and self development for those who want to advance their influence and impact within their organization. I have to admit that I am a personal development junky because I believe we should be putting ourselves in the position to grow and get better. We can’t wait on our organizations to do it for us or wait to find the perfect mentor.

I hope you can use this podcast as a form of mentorship where I interview smart people like today’s guest, Dr. Marilyn Puder-York. Dr. Puder-York is an executive coach with a 30-year successful track record in helping talented executives and professionals achieve their optimal performance. A licensed psychologist, she is one of the first to apply cognitive/behavioral psychology to the enhancement of executive careers.

Marilyn starts off defining office politics and discusses some benefits and where we make mistakes. She breaks down the importance of promoting yourself without being aggressive about it. Marilyn also explains the difference between a sponsor and a mentor. Finally, we wrap up with her advice on how to best navigate office politics. I wish I had someone like Marilyn to guide me through all of my fumbles in corporate America.

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • Any workplace that has more than three people has office politics so we all have to accept that reality.
  • Negative office politics focus solely on one’s personal gain at the expense of others.
  • Aggressively over promoting yourself can cause others to sabotage you (but you do need to promote yourself).
  • Don’t lead your communications with negative emotion.
  • A common mistake people make is not adapting when there is a shift in the culture (i.e. a shift in management).
  • Not reacting on emotion without processing it (thinking through the cost-benefit) is a lesson in self-awareness and self-management.
Check out these highlights (with timestamps): 
  • The positive part of office politics [8:00]
  • Common mistakes when navigating office politics [10:15]
  • What happens when the office culture allows the “bad guys” to win [14:20]
  • Marilyn’s brilliant way of getting your hard work noticed [15:19]
  • Why gossiping is a mistake and when Marilyn made this mistake [22:00]
  • The difference between sponsors and mentors [24:50]
  • What happens if your boss is not astute at office politics [29:00]
  • Marilyn schools me on something I could have done better when I was navigating office politics [37:18]
  • How you promote yourself without overly promoting yourself [38:40]
  • Marilyn’s one tip for navigating office politics [47:40]
Mentioned in this episode:

My new training:

Marilyn’s book: The Office Survival Guide

Marilyn’s website:

Full Bio:

Dr. Puder-York is an executive coach with a 30 year successful track record in helping talented executives and professionals achieve their optimal performance. A licensed psychologist, she is one of the first to apply cognitive/behavioral psychology to the enhancement of executive careers.

Dr. Puder-York specializes in one-to-one, organizationally-sponsored coaching for executives and professionals.  The objective is to improve their leadership performance, career mobility, motivation, focus, commitment and direction.  She helps high potential/high performers: maintain resiliency through change and upheavals; adjust behaviors to fit their work environment/position; enhance their leadership, communication, interpersonal and self-management skills, and to identify and manage their blind spots to achieve superior performance.

Dr. Puder-York consults with CEOs and HR professionals regarding behavioral issues in the workplace, and maintains a limited private practice. She is also a strategic partner with The Ellig Group (http://www.elliggroup), an Executive Search and Leadership Practice.

Formerly Vice President and head of Citigroup’s (formerly Citicorp) global in house Employee Assistance Program for 10 years, Dr. Puder-York has a practical bottom-line business focus when coaching and consulting executive clients. She has a personable style and is straightforward and acute in her observations and counsel.  She has a demonstrated track record of efficiently attaining positive results and helping high potential /high performance executives and professionals achieve their best within their organizations.

During the course of her career she has been frequently interviewed and cited in print and broadcast by the business and general media.  She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, The New York Times and other on line publications.  She has been seen on CNN,CBS, NBC and Fox television networks.  Dr. Puder-York’s publication topics have included ethical issues in executive coaching, managing difficult customers and clients, and the psychology of success for women.   Her book, “The Office Survival Guide” is published by Mc-Graw-Hill.

She is a member of The American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State.

Contact Information

Mobile: 646-594-6960 Email:


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