One strategic understanding (emotional intelligence) you will need to forge the ability to figure out -
Who are the players?
Who are the political animals?
Sometimes it is hard to tell the two apart.
Me - I'm a player and use different situations and people to achieve where I want to get to and what I want to do. Most times people can't tell what I'm up to. I keep my motives to myself and I am not in a hurry to get the top. I use my personality to win friends and influence people and I assure that both parties win. That's what makes a player.
Now someone who is unashamedly working the system to get up the ladder as quick as possible - now that's an animal. Someone who is willing to use others as much as they can to achieve their own good, someone who targets managers, directors and ignores the little people in a business in an effort to climb - that's an animal.
Me - I don't care much for animals. Political ones anyway.