Skip to content

EP131 The Politics of Promotion with Bonnie Marcus

Eleanor Beaton
Eleanor Beaton
EP131 The Politics of Promotion with Bonnie Marcus


On This Episode of Fierce Feminine Leadership…

How willing are you to engage in politics in the workplace?  Bonnie Marcus, author of the Politics of Promotion and international speaker says that learning to successfully embrace and navigate workplace politics can give you the leg up that you need when it comes to reaching success.

More About Bonnie Marcus

  • Bonnie has 25-years of experience in corporate America.
  • Bonnie’s wake-up call came early on in her career she was passed over for a promotion because she didn’t position herself properly.
  • Politics of Promotion arose from a keynote Bonnie did called “Anatomy of a Blindside”
  • She has spoken at major events such as; the Dynamic Women in Business Conference at Harvard, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Massachusetts Conference for Women.


It takes more than great performance to get ahead in business. You need to know how to position yourself, build advocates and build influence across the organization.


How can you increase your political savvy?

  • Build a relationship with yourself– take the time to understand how you and your work contributes and adds value to the organization. This is the foundation for you to promote yourself and build influence across the organization.
    • Own your ambition- recognize what it takes to move your career forward and make decisions that support your ambition going forward.
  • Develop an awareness of what is going on around you and what your organization and bosses are trying to achieve
  • Build a network in a strategic way- It’s not only about who is in your network, but it’s also very important that you are selective in how you spend your time. Consider:
    • How powerful is each person in your network?
    • And how strong is your relationship with each of those people?
    • How you can build visibility with the powerful players?
    • Do the people in your network understand how you bring value to the organization?
  • Understand the dynamics of your organization. How are decisions made, who makes the decisions, & who influences the decisions?
    • What does it take to get ahead in your company?
      • Have there been other women who have reached leadership roles? did they have relationships with
      • What kind of assignments did they get?
      • Did they have a sponsor, a mentor, and or a coach?
      • What was their executive presence like?
    • What kind of behavior is condoned in your organization?


What can companies do to retain female talent?

  • The underlying problem isn’t addressed- women don’t necessarily want to leave work when they have small children or when they have elderly parents to care for, but they have little choice because there is little flexibility in corporate America to understand and support women throughout the entirety of their career.
  • Don’t make assumptions about what women want and need, ASK them what they need to be successful.
  • Individual women and their companies need to identify ambitious women who want a long-term career and then have an individualized career track that the leaders in their company will be held accountable for.


Connect with Bonnie Marcus