Chain of Learning: 14 | Becoming an Astute Political Navigator [with Betsy Jordyn]

What’s your reaction when you hear the phrase “corporate politics”? Does it make you cringe and want to run away, or do you get curious about how to leverage them to influence outcomes?

In this episode, Betsy Jordyn joins me to discuss the essential skill of how to successfully navigate organizational politics. As a long-time organizational development consultant for companies like Disney, Wyndham, and AAA, Betsy’s expertise on the subject is enlightening. 

Throughout our conversation, you’ll learn the difference between good politics and toxic environments and what’s at risk if leaders don’t prioritize a focus on astutely navigating those dynamics. Betsy also shares valuable details about some of the more complex organizational transformations she has led, and how she successfully maneuvered within those political landscapes. 

If you’re looking to gain influence and effectively leverage corporate politics so that you can lead change and  step into your full leadership potential, then you won’t want to miss this episode.


  • Steps to help you master the critical skill of being an Astute Political Navigator — one of the eight core Change KATALYST™ competencies to further develop your expertise as an organizational change leader 
  • A transformational framework to help executives and change leaders like you articulate your vision, integrate individual leadership voices, and align organizational goals 
  • How to effectively leverage political dynamics, avoid the trap of becoming another pair of hands, and increase your influence
  • The power in politics — how to balance diverse perspectives within an organization and  differentiate between good politics and a toxic environment
  • The essential roles of empathy, respect, deep listening, and function-specific language to effectively lead and manage change



  • [00:00] Introduction to the episode 
  • [03:43] Navigating good politics as an organizational change leader
  • [06:16] Lessons in navigating both formal and informal political structures 
  • [11:26] How to help leaders and consultants articulate goals and bring executives on board 
  • [17:48] How to avoid the trap of being a pair of hands: influencing vs. executing 
  • [20:34] Differentiating good politics from toxic environments
  • [26:59] The connection between Betsy’s current and past roles in leading organizational change and coaching consultants for growth and impact