Whether you are in a small or large company, eventually you run into politics, and if you are really lucky, backstabbing, poor management and all sorts of other fun stuff. Some people get upset, and others start blogs. But when you get to the other side, you get to dispense with great advice like this:
For the purposes of your career, consider the whole company as just your manager, one level up, your closest peers, and your customers. This represents your “backyard” that you must keep clean for a healthy career. You’ll give a lot to foster the relationships, but if it doesn’t yield good things long term, move around in the company or even leave the company.
Don’t get stuck in a rut thinking that this is like a sporting event where you can cry foul to a referee when you encounter unfairness. This manifests as running to skip level managers or HR with issues. Rarely are the skip level managers there to make things fair, rather they are there to be successful. HR is there for the company’s benefit, not necessarily for you.
Your feet are your vote, and sometimes you have to lay low and take pain from bad managers until better opportunities show up, if you’re willing to wait. This is much like my years in fast food as a teenager, where I had to make the investment to grow into better things. When you find a good manager with good peers, fight tooth and nail, put in late nights, etc. to stay there.