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What is Political Capital?

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Political capital is the trust, goodwill and social influence that you have built with organizations, teams and individuals. It is an analogy to financial capital that suggests that influence is saved and spent. In other words, when you push an initiative forward you may rely on the relationships you have built. If you try to push too much through you will quickly wear out your favors and face resistance.

An Opposite View

The basic idea of political capital is that trust and goodwill is something that can be banked and then spent as a finite resource. This isn't necessarily how influence works, as some will argue that the more you ask for the better. The very act of regularly asking for support may build stronger relationships, not erode them.
The concept of political capital is most accurate in describing influence on people who have significantly more authority than yourself. If you have built a good relationship with a senior person you might be able to pitch a single idea to them. In this scenario it may be realistic to think of influence as a finite resource that takes years to build and seconds to lose.
Overview: Political Capital
The idea that influence is a finite intangible resource that can be collected and spent.
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