Yes, I believe it is possible to cultivate political skills.
Chapter 5 focuses on how to develop this skill. It focuses on
- learning to be aware of the political context that surrounds you; for example, knowing what the strategic company directions are.
- political principles such as competing graciously.
Chapter 7 focuses on Passion and how discover it, protect it, and use it as a guiding force.
Your question about Passion is a good one. When you are truly passionate about something - trying to reign in any sense control is hard.
Learning to step back and respond rationally to situations can help balance the delicate space between politics and passion.
For me, sometimes I will simply count to 5 before I respond. It gives my brain a chance to catch up with what I really want to communicate. Try to quickly evaluate the impact of what you are going to say, e-mail, ... before responding.
Thanks for clarifying. In my view, looking at the bigger picture, and learning to look at things from a business perspective at opposed to just technical perspective are vita l to strike a balance between handling politics and being passionate. I have worked for
some of the large organizations and some of the key software development/design principles are violated in favor of risk aversion, meeting the deadlines, time to market, and keeping the business happy. Tactical solutions are favored over strategical solution. So, the chapter 5: politics will be an interesting read.